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GP Week : Issue 232
.com WEEK Three of the leading figures within the Manor team have handed in their resignations, it was revealed over the Mexican Grand Prix weekend. John Booth and Graeme Lowdon, who together founded the team in 2009, have both handed in their notice, as has technical consultant Bob Bell. Booth and Lowdon are believed to have grown frustrated with the way new team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick has run the team, particularly his attitude towards potential investors. Saving the team from extinction over the winter, Fitzpatrick was hailed a knight in shining armor after ensuring it remained on the grid for 2015. Fitzpatrick's purchase of the squad has allowed it not only to continue racing but in recent weeks secure a supply of Mercedes engines for 2016, which will help it move towards the midfield. However behind the scenes frustrations have been mounting as Fitzpatrick hasn't acted on interest from prospective investors willing to inject cash into the team. Investors from the United States are understood to have expressed an interest in the squad but their approach fell on deaf ears. That has not sat well with Booth or Lowdon who believe the team needs further investment if it is to progress. Despite having handed in their notice the duo will continued to lead the team on track until the end of the season. Bell meanwhile only joined in June and has been overseeing a restructure of the team. Formerly of Mercedes and Enstone, Bell was instrumental in securing Manor the Mercedes engine supply and a gearbox deal with Williams. Just who will replace Bell, Lowdon and Booth at the head of the team remains unclear. Currently the team is based next door to David Richards' Prodrive factory, leading to speculation the former BAR team boss could step into the role. Alternatively Nicolas Todt, who heads the ART Grand Prix team in GP2, is understood to be keen on a Formula One entry but to this point financially has been unable to make the leap. Where the team goes from here also remains unclear, as are Fitzpatrick's intentions. Purchased at the start of the season for a knock down price, the team has guaranteed income through prize money for at least the next two seasons. With Mercedes engines and Williams gearboxes for next season it looks to be in a stronger position than it has been at any point in its history, which should raise the squad's value beyond what Fitzpatrick initially invested. However, just how the departure of three leading figures within the team will be received remains to be seen. Accessible via the GPWEEK APP CLICK on the appropriate provider (right) MANAGING EDITOR Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Mat Coch CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Formula 1: Mike Doodson Paolo Filisetti (F1 Tech Editor) Sean Kelly Social Media: Ernie Black PhOTOGRAPhy Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Daniel Kalisz, Mirko Stange, Dirk Klynsmith PUBlIShED By Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom PUBlIShER Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> nEWs manor's management walk out