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.
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.
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.
Photo credits: Getty Images
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