Wolff regrets anticipated exit of Booth and Lowdon from Manor

2015 F1 season

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Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff expressed disappointment at reports Manor team principal John Booth and CEO Graeme Lowdon are leaving the team.

Manor, whose place in F1 was secured after attracting investment from Stephen Fitzpatrick and Justin King earlier this year, will use Mercedes power units from 2016. However the current management will no longer be in charge.

“Manor means John Booth” – Wolff
“When I spoke about racers John and Graeme was very much meant by that,” said Wolff, “plus, of course, the rest if the team.”

“It’s a bunch of real fighters who have shown stamina in keeping the team in the sport. I’ve known John forever, since the Formula Renault days of Lewis [Hamilton] and Formula Three days.”

“Manor means John Booth and John Booth means Manor and Graeme was also very instrumental in keeping the team alive last year. So seeing them leave the team, from a personal standpoint and from the racing spirit, is obviously a blow.”

“Going forward we have signed a deal with Manor and I would say we need to give credit to everyone who stays in the team, but we are curious spectators from now on.”

Manor has endured a fraught 12 months which included the death of the team’s 2014 driver Jules Bianchi in July after the team’s 11th-hour rescue from administration.

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Keith Collantine
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11 comments on “Wolff regrets anticipated exit of Booth and Lowdon from Manor”

  1. Coup-d’etat. Anyway it’s great news to see Lowdon out. I think he’s better off in his château. I don’t think this is Wolff’s own doing. I think he could have handled Booth and Lowdon easily. With the leverage of a Merc contract, Manor was always going to attract massive attention. I’m sure Pascal comes with the package and that’s the most important thing for Mercedes. I’m sure whoever’s behind is more interested in squeezing Merc a few bucks or just sell the #2 seat.

    1. Wow, that is quite something to say here @peartree.

      I just think that this coming out right now – the founder of the team together with the other guy that pulled the team through until now, who most likely did the convincing of Wollf to become their engine partner leaving just like that, after an obvious fallout with the owners – is a real worry for anyone involved.

      Sure, it could be a change for the better, but we know what these guys have managed, and we have so far gotten no clue to who will take the team management further. Certainly its nog going to be Fitzpatrick who can do the job.

      1. @bascb I didn’t want to start throwing out names. Manor has been doing a great job in single seater racing but their f1 team was severely in-debt and so not functional. My honest guess is that Merc was proactive and traded a seat and power within the team, for the PU and some sponsoring. I’m sure Manor would change tremendously between now and 2016. I think the idea was to “Haas” Manor which would then leave Lowdon free of debt and free to go. I think they were not supposed to go now, I think a shareholder just wanted to be part of the new team.

  2. Gaston (@gastonmazzacane)
    31st October 2015, 10:01

    Bob Bell, Mercedes Engines, Pascal Wehrlein driving…now all we need is Ross Brawn as team boss :)

    1. Bob Bell left.

      1. Apex Assassin
        31st October 2015, 18:51

        Yes he did, but it’s ok, Fitzpatrick is a genius with all the answers, just ask him.

        I said countless times since the season started, I do not expect this team on the grid next year.

  3. This pic deserves a caption :D

  4. Not really a surprise to see some of the nicest guys in F1 getting the boot, but a shame nonetheless.

  5. Apex Assassin
    31st October 2015, 18:52

    If I wasn’t so down on Haas for the Goofierrez signing I’d be hoping they had the good sense to grab all three of the departing parties.

    What they’ve done and endured it would be a damned rotten shame to see them out of F1 and worse still to see them resurface in WEC or Le Mans as rumoured.

  6. Call me a cynic, but is there a possibility that Bernie has somehow engineered this? 3 resignations of key personnel from a backmarker, it might be enough to tip the team over the edge resulting in them pulling out from 2016.

    That would leave Mercedes with one engine-customer slot empty, and Bernie could then say, “Alright, give RBR your engine, and sort out your marketing deal”. Toro Rosso are already sorted with a 2015 Ferrari engine supply, so that should also move them forward.

    Losing one back-marker team to ensure a competitive engine supply to a front-runner, and the retention of two well-funded teams – it would feel like a dream deal to Bernie.

    1. What a theory Phylyp……but that is all that is….but Manor are looking like a “b” works team now…and I would not rule out a Ross Brawn return, even in a advisory role..
      Mercedes do not want RBR to have their engines, as even with a slightly detuned engine, their superior aero would cause problems for the works cars…..but RBR also want the latest engine, which they would not get…..and wasn’t that the problem that Ron Dennis was having……

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