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F1 team Marussia ceases trading efforts, over 200 staff redundant — media

November 07, 2014, 20:45 UTC+3 LONDON
Whilst the team made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment, Marussia’s joint administrator Geoff Rowley says
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© AP Photo/Luca Bruno

LONDON, November 7. /TASS/. British-based Formula One team Marussia ceased its trading efforts after failing to find a buyer and as its over 200-staff went redundant the team will miss the two remaining Grand Prix races in Sao Paolo and Abu Dhabi, BBC reported on Friday.

Andrey Cheglakov, a Russian billionaire owner of Marussia, announced last week that he stopped investments in the team and was parting with Marussia while, according to various media reports, British-Indian brothers Baljinder Sohi and Sonny Kaushal were in talks for purchasing Marussia from Cheglakov at a reported sum of €70 million (almost $89 million).

The team’s talks with two potential investors apparently failed. "Whilst the team made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment," BBC quoted Marussia’s joint administrator Geoff Rowley as saying.

Marussia joined F1 racing in 2010 and its pilot Jules Bianchi brought the team first points after finishing in the ninth place at the Monaco GP earlier this season.

"Sadly, no solution could be achieved to allow for the business to continue in its current form,” Rowley added. “We would like to thank all the staff for their support during this difficult process.”

Formula One racing is facing a financial crisis at the moment as two teams did not compete in November 2 Grand Prix in the United States and were set to miss Brazil’s Sao Paolo on November 9.

Team Catterham announced two weeks ago that it had been placed into administration and the next day team Marussia said it had not enough money to fly the team to the United States and then Brazil. Both teams may be considered relatively young as they joined the F1 racing starting from 2010.

The starting grid of the US GP over the last weekend consisted of 18 cars only, which was for the first time in almost 10 years. The 18-car starting grid was last time registered in 2005 at the Monaco Grand Prix, where BAR team was banned from the race due to infringements on technical regulations.

There is still no information whether Oxfordshire-based team Catterham, which announced of going into administration on October 26, will be able to compete in the final race this year.

Team Marussia was also rocked by a tragic crash of one of its pilots at the Japanese Grand Prix early this month.

October 5 rain-affected F1 race in Japan’s Suzuka was concluded earlier by the decision of FIA officials after French pilot Bianchi, 25, from Marussia team crashed into the back of a tractor, which was clearing debris in a run-off area from a previous incident. The French pilot was seriously injured and, while unconscious, taken to a hospital in Japan.

As Cheglakov was speaking last week about parting ways with Marussia he remembered Bianchi, who was struggling for his life at the Intensive Care Unit of Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi.

“I want to say special words about Jules Bianchi - our pilot, who is waging his main fight at the moment, an outstanding young man and athlete, who gave us so many moments of glory and pride,” Cheglakov said. “Our thoughts and support are with him and his relatives.

Cheglakov reiterated that the decision to part with Marussia and stop the sponsorship of the team was not spontaneous and was made after the Russian GP in early October.

Earlier this month Russia held its first ever F1 racing on its soil and the inaugural Russia Grand Prix took place on October 10-12 in Sochi, a coastal resort city on the Black Sea.

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