Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that the Manor Formula One team will be docked almost £2m in prize-money for failing to race at the season-opener in Australia.
The team went into administration in October with debts of £64m but were rescued last month by the boss of energy firm Ovo. They raced against time to get their cars ready and meet the deadline for F1 to transport their equipment to Melbourne for free.
However, they never made the grid owing to computer software problems. Ecclestone has already said they will have to pay for the freight and has now revealed they will lose prize-money too.
“We will deduct the race they missed from the prize-money,” he said. “They will miss one 19th of it and they are going to get a bill for the free travel that we gave them.”
Manor joined Formula One in 2010 as Marussia but did not score any points until last year when they won two in Monaco.
They finished ninth in 2014, giving them an estimated £35.4m in prize-money, which is due to be paid this year. There were 19 races last season, which is why Ecclestone has deducted one 19th of the prize-money, which comes to £1.9m.
The move will give a boost to Manor’s rivals as Ecclestone added that “the money they should have got will get distributed amongst the teams that are racing”.
By travelling to Australia and passing scrutineering, Manor avoided being thrown out of the championship.
An investigation by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, found the team had broken “an undertaking ... to participate in every event with the number of cars and drivers entered”.
However, it added Manor had used “all reasonable endeavours” to take part, so they avoided a penalty.
They insist they are on course to race in Malaysia this weekend.