Manor Marussia F1 has announced the recruitment of Luca Furbatto in the role of Head of Design, working under Technical Director John McQuilliam. Furbatto is a mechanical engineering graduate of the celebrated Politecnico di Torino, who has been involved in F1 since 1998 when he joined British American Racing as an assistant test engineer. He moved on to work as an assistant race engineer in 1999 and then moved to Cologne to join the Toyota F1 team for a year before joining McLaren as head of stress analysis and materials. he stayed at McLaren from the start of 2001 until the end of 2011, ending up as an assistant project leader on the MP4-26, under Paddy Lowe. He moved to Scuderia Toro Rosso as chief designer for 2012 and oversaw the design of the TR7, TR8 and TR9 projects. The Faenza team has since strengthened its design team with the recruitment of Mercedes designer Andy LeFleming.
Manor has also recently hired Gianluca Pisanello as its Chief Engineer. Pisanello was formerly Head of Engineering Operationsat Caterham F1 and prior to that was employed by the Toyota F1 team.
The team has also taken on Bob Bell as a technical consultant for 2015. He is a long-established name in F1 having spent 15 years at McLaren before becoming Technical Director at Renault F1 in 2003. The team won the 2005 and 2006 World Championships under his leadership and he became acting Team Principal after the disastrous Singapore scandal in 2009. He was then appointed managing-director but left the team after a year to join Mercedes, where he was technical director until the arrival of Paddy Lowe. The word is that Bell will lead the Lotus team if it is acquired by Renault. There are many stories that this is about to happen and that Bell will be put in charge, but the deal is still under discussion.
The recruitments are a solid sign that Manor may not be very competitive at the moment but has big ambitions for the future.