Over the weekend a member of the F1 press community finally caught up with the reports you have been reading on Manor Racing Fan Blog over the past ten days.
Up until that article on Saturday, not a single F1 journalist had gotten anywhere near close to the truth of what has really been happening behind the scenes at Manor Racing in the past few weeks. Even the report over the weekend only got it half right and this was their second attempt at reporting on the same story.
The continued insistence that the team rejected an offer from CGF due to proof of funds not being presented have once again been strongly denied by our source close the deal. They cite the same evidence as presented by the journalist over the weekend, that a deal was almost done before Christmas and that talks would not have reached that advanced stage, unless evidence of financing had been presented.
The team going into administration has now further damaged the potential sale to CGF with several layers of mandatory legal work now required to be followed. Unfortunately, these extra delays are a major obstacle to over come if the team wants to compete in the 2017 season. The team do not have time on their side with the first race of the season now less than 60 days away. Even before Friday’s news, they were already were way behind schedule.
It transpires that no one was aware that the administrators were going into the factory on Friday to announce that the gates would be closing on Tuesday. This is one of the many complaints we received regarding the administrators conduct during this affair.
The timing of the announcement left the team working on the CGF bid little chance to act as it was the weekend and not much could be done about it with so many people out of the office. It is now the Chinese New Year which means many Asian institutes are not working until mid next week and with CGF have to wait for the investors go ahead after due diligence leaving fighting against time to get the parts for the car in time.
There is a misconception going around that Manor can miss the first three races of the season which would buy the team much needed time to prepare two cars. We have it on a good authority that CGF do not believe this to be the case and will only proceed with the purchase of the team of the team if they believe they will make it to the grid in Melbourne.
From their perspective, if the team were to miss the Australian Grand Prix in March, it could be argued by others, that the team failed to meet the minimum requirements, thus failing to participate on the 2017 Championship.
One way to avoid this is for other teams to consent to Manor Racing missing races. Despite what is being said publicly at present by the teams regarding the redistribution of wealth, CGF are unwilling to rely on the discretion of the other teams for them to skip races. We don’t blame them either. The hypocrisy of some of the team owners in F1 never fails to astonish us.
At best, the team are looking at a repeat of the 2015 Australian Grand Prix when Manor Racing did turn up for the opening race but the car never made it out of the pit lane garage.
However, the team were successfully able to argue that it did indeed ‘participate’ in the Grand Prix weekend. As things stand, they may have to resort to such tactics again although we suspect the FIA may have fixed that particular loop-hole.
We are informed that CGF is currently working night and day to try and turn this bid around and that even as late as Sunday night, things were moving fast.
However, due to the reasons outlined above it is going to be difficult deal to pull off in such a limited time frame, but it is not yet impossible.
It is now a race against the clock.