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Administrators confirm no Marussia F1 team in Austin - new buyer in the wings?

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Administrators confirm no Marussia F1 team in Austin - new buyer in the wings?
Oct 27, 2014, 11:57 AM

The administrators appointed to the Marussia F1 team have issued a statement this morning confirming that the team will not take part in the US Gra...

The administrators appointed to the Marussia F1 team have issued a statement this morning confirming that the team will not take part in the US Grand Prix next weekend.

It adds that the team is still operating and the administrators are assessing the company's long term viability, while no staff have been let go at this point and salaries have been paid to the end of the month.

This latest unwelcome development for F1 follows the collapse of Marussia's back of the grid rivals Caterham, which also went into administration this month.

The administrator, Geoff Rowley, said “With the Marussia F1 Team now in administration, the joint administrators have assessed that, given the current financial circumstances of the Group, it is not viable for the Marussia F1 Team to participate in the next race, the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, due to take place this weekend in Austin, Texas.

The Company will continue to operate while the joint administrators assess the longer term viability of the Company in its present form.

With the Marussia F1 Team now in administration, the joint administrators have assessed that, given the current financial circumstances of the Group, it is not viable for the Marussia F1 Team to participate in the next race, the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, due to take place this weekend in Austin, Texas.

The Company will continue to operate while the joint administrators assess the longer term viability of the Company in its present form.

No redundancies have been made following the Company's entering into administration and all staff have been paid in full to the end of October. The ongoing staff position will however be dependent on whether the Company can secure new investment in the limited time available.”

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph there is at least one interested party, which is negotiating with Marussia at the moment, but the two sides are some way out in valuation. The Telegraph reports that Baljinder Sohi and Sonny Kaushal have been in discussions with Marussia's CEO Andy Webb for three weeks. It is not clear at this stage what impact the administration will have on this process and the valuation.

“We are very close to a deal,” Sohi told the Telegraph. “But it has to be the right price. We have put in a serious offer and we will see what happens.”

Andrey Cheglakov, Bernie Ecclestone

Marussia has been bankrolled to this point by Russian Andrei Cheglakov, but it seems he lost enthusiasm for continuing to write cheques.

Any new owners will have to take on Marussia's debts, including to Ferrari for the supply of power units. But there is a significant prize fund due to the team if it can retain its 9th place in the Constructors' championship, which came from Jules Bianchi's points scoring run in Monaco in May. This makes the team potentially more attractive to investors. But it's a moving target: imagine if Sauber scores points this weekend in Austin, or more likely at Interlagos, where anything can happen..

The team is also still reeling from Bianchi's horrific accident in Japan earlier this month. He remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
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