Two Manor Marussia F1 Team Bosses Plan To Quit Team At End Of Year: Report

Illustration for article titled Two Manor Marussia F1 Team Bosses Plan To Quit Team At End Of Year: Report

Manor Marussia Formula One team president and sporting director Graeme Lowdon and team principal John Booth have annouced that they will be leaving at the end of the year—and sources have told BBC Sport that they likely won’t be the only ones.

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Lowdon and Booth have been with the team since it debuted as Virgin Racing in 2010. They were instrumental in scoring vital pieces of kit — a Mercedes engine and a Williams gearbox and transmission — for next year, hopefully setting the stage for the backmarker team to be more competitive in 2016. Their continued relationship with American GP2 standout Alexander Rossi, too, has given him a drive through the end of the year and so far, it’s gone spectacularly well for the team.

Illustration for article titled Two Manor Marussia F1 Team Bosses Plan To Quit Team At End Of Year: Report
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Graeme Lowdon (right) and John Booth (left)

Both Lowdon and Booth declined to comment to the BBC on their possible departure. However, Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff told BBC Sport that he knew something was afoot at the team:

I knew a while ago there was something cooking. John Booth is Manor and I have known him for many years, since Lewis [Hamilton] was in Formula Three. And Graeme has done an awesome job in picking the team up.

It is not a good situation and it is unfortunate because these guys are real racers.

I am an interested spectator at the moment. I can’t have an opinion yet. There are many good people in the team. If those two guys really leave it is really unfortunate but it is not for me to judge or not. I will just watch and see.

Where will they land, and how would this affect the rest of the team? No one knows for sure yet. Booth, for one, has been running race teams since 1990, per BBC Sport.

Businessman Stephen Kirkpatrick saved Manor Marussia from closing at the beginning of the year, however, it is yet to be determined why Lowdon and Booth may be leaving.

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Photo credits: Getty Images


Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

dhackett
Declan Hackett

The BBC Radio team - Setanta Sports use their feed for commentary - were saying Bob Bell, who was a technical director at Mercedes and only joined Manor in June, will be the next one to announce his departure.

Just spotted - Autosport are reporting this has already happened, and he left last week. Also, they’re citing “creative differences” between Lowden, Booth and owner Sean Fitzpatrick over the future direction. So, I wonder…

Back in 1994, when Renault refused to supply Benetton with engines - claiming they could only support two teams - Flavio Briatore and a big wad of notes in a Benetton envelope bought the Ligier team (who were one of the lucky two) and swapped engine contracts between the teams. Wonder how many cans of a certain energy drink Sean would get for a “delivery mileage only” Mercedes engine deal, with the optional Williams gearbox pack?