Marussia F1 team closes with staff made redundant

The staff were told in a long and emotional meeting just after midday.

French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of Marussia F1 Team. Picture: EPA.

SAO PAULO - The British-based Marussia Formula One team has folded with about 200 staff losing their jobs, administrators said in a statement on Friday.

FRP Advisory said the heavily-indebted team, who had been struggling for some time to stay afloat, had "no sustainable operational or financial structure in place to maintain the Group as a going concern."

"The joint administrators have now ceased trading Marussia F1 Team and unfortunately have had to make the remaining staff redundant," it added.

The staff were told in a long and emotional meeting just after midday on Friday.

Ferrari-powered Marussia went into administration last month and missed last weekend's US Grand Prix in Texas and this week's in Brazil. Fellow strugglers Caterham are also in administration and seeking a buyer.

Both teams entered the cash-guzzling sport in 2010, encouraged by promises of a cost cap that never materialised, and were perennial back-markers.

However Marussia did manage to score their first two points in Monaco in May thanks to Frenchman Jules Bianchi, who is now fighting for his life in a Japanese hospital after an horrific crash at Suzuka in October when his car hit a recovery tractor.

Britain's Max Chilton was their other driver.

"It goes without saying that it is deeply regrettable that a business with such a great following in British and world motorsport has had to cease trading and close its doors," said joint administrator Geoff Rowley.

"Whilst the team made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, operating an F1 team requires significant ongoing investment.

"Sadly no solution could be achieved to allow for the business to continue in its current form."

Rowley said the joint administrators would continue to realise the assets of the business "in the best interests of all the creditors."

Marussia started out in F1 as Virgin Racing before being bought by Russian entrepreneur Andrei Cheglakovm, the majority shareholder who pumped considerable sums into the team before deciding enough was enough.

Their last race was the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi last month, when they ran only one car.