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GP Week : Issue 53
>>F1 INSIGHT ord of the John Booth’s Manor Grand Prix will make the incredible leap up from Formula 3 to Formula 1 in 2010. But while starting a new F1 team relatively from scratch will be no easy task, he reveals that by far his biggest challenge and personal goal is to achieve the respect of his peers. He spoke to WILL BUXTON MANOR “Y OU couldn’t even say Formula 1 was a dream because it was so out of reach. This is just beyond all expectations.” So says John Booth, who in 2010 will become part of Formula 1’s new guard of Team Principals. His words are not coy, self-effacingly modest. They’re a realistic and ultimately honest reflection of the targets John had set himself in his motorsport career. John set up Manor Motorsport in 1990 when the former racer decided to hang up his helmet and start up his own Formula Renault team. Manor achieved almost instant success, scoring three race wins in its first season. It would go on to write the record books as the most successful Formula Renault team in history. Booth’s eye for talent picked out two future Formula 1 world champions, as both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton cut their teeth in Formula Renault with Manor. The time soon came however for John to diversify his vision, and so he expanded the team into Formula 3, taking the British crown before expanding once again into the Euro F3 Series and bringing the likes of Kazuki Nakajima, Paul di Resta and Lucas di Grassi to the world’s attention. The intention had never been to become an F1 team, but when the FIA opened the tendering process for budget-capped teams in 2010, John knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. “It all started about six or seven months ago when we first got together with Nick Wirth, who was the major part of this venture, 29