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GP Week : Issue 233
Manor's sporting director Graeme Lowdon has confirmed that he and John Booth will leave the team following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. News broke in Mexico that Manor team bosses had tendered their resignations from the team they formed, though refused to comment on the situation at the time. In Brazil however Lowndon was slightly more forthcoming, confirming his departure from the team. "Abu Dhabi is going to be my last race with the team," he admitted in Interlagos. " From my point of view this has been a pretty difficult season but that's secondary to the fact that the team continues and that's the most important thing." Lowdown played an instrumental role in saving the Manor squad from extinction this time last year. Together with Booth the pair have a long history in the sport's junior categories before entering Formula One under the Virgin guise in 2010. The team is currently owned by Stephen Fitzpatrick, who heads British energy company Ovo. It's understood a difference of opinion over where the team is going triggered Booth and Lowdon to step down. Bob Bell, who has previously worked with Renault and Mercedes and who had been contracted to the team as a consultant for the last five months, has also resigned ahead of an expected return to the Lotus, once Renault completes its protracted buy-out. Manor is now searching for a new team boss, with recently retired racer Alex Wurz having been approached to step into the role. " I was approached," confessed Wurz in Brazil. "I would have preferred it not be out in public but I can't deny it." Should he accept the role it would see him reunited with former McLaren colleague Dave Ryan, who has joined the team as racing director. Ryan spent more than three decades working at McLaren before being dismissed in 2009 after carrying the can when the team was caught deliberately withholding information from stewards following that year's Australian Grand Prix. "I'm very excited to be joining the Manor Marussia F1 Team at a pivotal time in their development," said Ryan. "Having spent time with Stephen, and understood his vision for the future, it is clear he has ensured there is a strong platform from which the team can make big steps for ward in the seasons ahead. "Manor has all the hallmarks of a fiercely competitive racing team, but having grown up in a much more contemporary Formula One era, it is a very lean operation with a collaborative culture, which leaves it well placed to contend with the sport's future direction. "There is clearly a big challenge ahead and a lot of work to do, but I can't wait to meet the wider team and get down to business." With a supply of Mercedes engines for 2016, and a technical partnership with Williams, Manor is better placed technically than it has been at any time in its history. Financially too the team has prize money guarnateed for the next two seasons. With comparatively bright prospects exactly what Booth and Lowdon found unpalletable remains unclear. shakeup at manor .com weeK 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