Toto Wolff has expressed his disappointment at the news John Booth and Graeme Lowdon are set to exit the Manor F1 team in 2016, but says the manufacturer remain as 'curious spectator' over the issue.
Manor team principal Booth and sporting director Lowdon have tendered their resignation amidst reports of disagreements with owner Stephan Fitzpatrick, who stepped in over the winter to get the team out of administration and ensure it raced in 2015.
It comes as Manor forges towards a more optimistic future having brokered an engine deal with Mercedes for 2016, a move that many believe could push the British outfit closer to the midfield next year.
For Wolff, the presence of Booth or Lowdon has no bearing Mercedes' role in the team, though he says he is personally upset to see Booth especially leave the team he founded in the early 90s.
“It's a bunch of real fighters that have shown stamina in keeping the team in the sport. I've known John forever, since the Formula Renault days of Lewis and Formula 3 days. Manor means John Booth and John Booth means Manor and Graeme was very instrumental in keeping the team alive last year
“Seeing them go, from a personal standpoint and from the racing spirit, is obviously a blow. So going forward, we have signed the deal with Manor and I would say we need to give credit to everybody in the team who stays in the team but we are curious spectators from now on.”