FIA repays now-defunct Manor's 2017 F1 season entry fee

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The FIA has reimbursed the now-defunct Manor Racing team's entry fee for the 2017 Formula One season as "a gesture of goodwill".

Manor paid in excess of £500,000 last November in anticipation of the current campaign, but the team collapsed on the eve of the season and did not compete. The team had dropped behind Sauber in heartbreaking fashion at the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season, which robbed it of crucial performance-related prize money needed to stay on the grid.

Despite formally entering the process of administration, hopes of a return continued through winter testing until owner Stephen Fitzpatrick withdrew the team's entry, leading to an auction of various bits of kit including the windtunnel model of its 2017 car. On Tuesday, the FIA confirmed it has sent back the money Manor paid for the season in a bid to help repay any outstanding debts still owed to creditors.

An FIA statement said: "Just Racing Services Limited, the company within the Manor Group responsible for servicing the team went into administration in January of this year and ceased trading later that month. Consequently, the team did not take any part in the 2017 Championship.

"The FIA has therefore decided to return the entry fee, less the administrative costs incurred by the Federation as part of the entry process, to the entity within the Manor Group in administration as a gesture of good will to assist in payment of outstanding debts."

Senior figures involved with the team later insisted the team could have "punched above its weight" under 2017's regulations, while also securing a long-term future with its Mercedes engine supply.