Will Stevens, Manor, Monte-Carlo, 2015

Ex-Mercedes and McLaren staff join Manor

2015 F1 season

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Will Stevens, Manor, Monte-Carlo, 2015Manor has made a series of appointments to its technical staff as it bids to rebuild its Formula One campaign.

The team formerly known as Marussia, which missed the final three races of last year due to a lack of funds, has filled several senior technical positions.

Bob Bell, previously a technical director at Mercedes and briefly the team principal at Renault, will provide input as a technical consultant for the team. Bell stepped down from his role at Mercedes early last year.

Luca Furbatto, who spent over ten years at McLaren and most recently worked as chief designer at Toro Rosso, has joined Manor as head of design, and will report to the team’s existing technical director John McQuilliam.

Former Caterham head of engineering operations Gianluca Pisanello has also been appointed as chief engineer. Pisanello previously worked for Toyota’s Formula One team.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “Ex-Mercedes and McLaren staff join Manor”

  1. These are good people joining. There is clearly a lot of faith in the Manor project growing and improving. It is heartening to hear. Congratulations and good luck to everyone moving teams!

  2. Fikri Harish (@)
    1st June 2015, 11:21

    Considering how good this year’s STR is, that is indeed quite a catch.
    I doubt anyone is capable of filling in Symond’s shoes but this is definitely a start.

  3. Sounds like they’re sticking with the old car for this year. I’m getting that feeling from their statements recently. I really hope there’s a proper program in place to build the new car.

    1. Of course. This year is all about getting the prize money, but what is heartening is that these seem like appointments for the 2016 campaign.

      I actually thought they would take the money and leave at the end of the season but maybe not.

    2. Hopefully they will stick with the same car for the whole year. Is pointless trying to built a new car this season and it will just end up diverting their attention from building a better car for 2016.
      They are better putting all their efforts for a better car next year that will actually be able to give them a chance for points than splitting their efforts for two half-assed cars.

  4. It would be interesting to compare the difference between last years Ferrari – Ferrari and this years Manor- Ferrari to see how much they’ve improved over the year.

  5. Hm, so does this mean that Renault gave up on starting /buying its own team. Or did they conclude that they are going to get involved with Manor?

    1. @bascb Or….judging by the livery……might it have something to do with Ingolstadt?

      I can sense the silly season coming!

    2. @bascb
      It may be me, but I fail to see any connection between the Manor news and Renault.

      1. The connection is Manor cannot afford these people on its own. therefore, there must be big bucks coming in from somewhere. Minnows do not simply hire big name engineers and technical personnel. The Renault connection seems the most valid.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          1st June 2015, 15:54

          Something’s going on and has been for the whole year – where is the money coming from? There are no sponsors on the car so that avenue is closed.

          No-one spends money without wanting a return on it so what is the plan? As the team appears now, it cannot be anything other than a black hole in which to throw money so there must be something else going on that we don’t know about.

        2. actually, @kbdavies, @nase, Bob Bell (and it might be Furbatto too) was earlier part of the team of people who reviewed Renault’s ideas for how to go forward with F1 and was supposed to be in view to become team principle in case Renault would buy/build one.
          But yes, the money is also one reason to look up when a very small and cash strapped team suddenly signs on new people. It can be a clear indication of some new investment being there somewhere in the background.

      2. Bob Bell is supposed to lead the team that is to be bought by Renault.

  6. This is some good news.
    Manor couldn’t be hiring these talents without any long term plans in F1. And long term plans especially in this sport usually means availabilty or certain expectation of capital.

    To me, this news right here is the best in F1 in a short while. Quite encouraging, it is.

  7. It’s a sad story for McLaren – in the words of one former employee I know, “people are leaving like rats from a sinking ship”. I think this is the knock on from the change in management, but people there are not happy and this is rather reflected in recent results. Sadly, I don’t think that they will fully recover to their former glory, even with the support of Honda.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st June 2015, 15:59

      They will eventually because they can afford to. They were expected to struggle this year but with a new Honda PU for next year, they’ll be back in the points.

      The lower teams don’t have the budget to sustain any level of success. They’ll have the odd year where they are right up there but they can’t capitalise on it and end dropping back for the following season.

      McLaren have the money though and once they get everything working together between the engine and car, they’ll move up the field fairly rapidly.

      1. Robert Jones
        1st June 2015, 16:07

        There are signs after a slow start that Mcclaren is actually Gelling as a team.I am greatly impressed by JB and Alonso who must be really frustrated at not been at the front.Mcclaren seems to be one of the few teams with a strategy beyond 2017 and has the money to drive it. expect more people wanting to join Mcclaren this season.

  8. Hiring people other teams ditched it is never a good idea, look at Caterham, well read about it on Wiki.

    1. @peartree, even great engineers have been forced out from teams – just ask Newey, for example, who was expelled from March after the 901 proved to be, with the exception of the French GP, a huge disappointment.

      Similarly, Aldo Costa has had a pretty positive impact at Mercedes, having helped developed the W05 and W06 – just because an engineer has been dropped by a particular team does not necessarily mean that engineer does not have something to offer to a rival.

  9. Robert Jones
    1st June 2015, 16:02

    Hiring experience is a good idea.the quality of the team is almost as good as having a great car. Staff who did not gel at their last teams can really come alive in a new environment.Look at Lewis, Vettel, Massa and Rob Smedley.Most are very passionate people…so why has HAAS not picked them up ? Could it be HAAS has been too slow to build a team?

    1. I don’t think we should be turning this into some Haas controversial story thing. It is not relevant and I think you are reading into it too much.

    2. As for Haas, they are working closely with Ferrari, which also means that for now at least, most Engineering gakes place in Italy. In future IT might be part US based. Not something everylne is keen on. Nlt to mention that Haas already has his crew as far as he even needs oné currently

  10. The new owner/sponsor is definitely making some moves. Looks like the impending arrival of Haas has caught their attention.

    1. I think that the arrival of Haas is great news for Manor and likewise the survival of Manor is great news for Haas. Same engines, both relatively small/new teams. The competition will hopefully help put Manor back on TV screens, and generate interest in the same way as we were interested in how HRT/Virgin/Lotus fought even if it was at the back.

      Given that Ferrari are (IMHO rightfully) bashed for taking more than their fair share of the FOM revenue pie, it’s good to see that at least they are partly responsible for two of the good news stories.

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