New team owners in Formula 1 often like to make their mark on the teams that they have acquired. Old managements disappear and new people come in, but such changes are not always successful, because teams are integral units that have been built up over time and tempered by experience, Manor has had plenty of tough times and the core of the team is a solid unit. Thus the suggestion that Team Principal John Booth and Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon have resigned, and rumours that other team members may also be on their way, is worrying for the team. The fact that the new Haas F1 Team will be headquartered in Banbury – the same town as Manor, means that the likelihood is that jobs will not be hard to find.
Why this is happening is not clear, because the team members are being discreet and not talking, but it is fairly clear that they do not share the vision for the team for the future that is being put forward by the team owner Steven Fitzpatrick. This is obviously not something that is good for the team in the short-term because stability is such an important element. Forging a group of people takes time and removing “the glue” is a risky thing to do. It is not clear whether Fitzpatrick has any idea about how to replace the two men who made Manor happen and who kept the team alive after it was abandoned by previous owner Andrei Cheglakov, but he needs to find the right people. The problem is that team principals do not grow on trees.
On paper the logical thing for Manor to do be doing is hunkering down and sticking a good chassis on the front of a Mercedes engine. That should, in theory, take the team up to a sensible level of performance in 2016, with a sensible amount of prize money coming in the future.