14 November 2015
Lowdon confirms Manor Racing departure
Graeme Lowdon formally confirms this month's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark his swansong with the Manor Racing team.
Graeme Lowdon has officially confirmed this year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark his final F1 race with Manor Racing in his capacity as sporting director.
News broke over the Mexican Grand Prix weekend that both Lowdon and founding team principal John Booth had tendered their resignation and would leave the team at the end of the season, reportedly over disagreements with owner Stephen Fitzpatrick.
Though Lowdon refused to delve into the details of his departure, he did confirm that his resignation has been accepted and that the Abu Dhabi race later this month will at least be his swansong.
Coming a year after Manor came close to folding after being placed into administration, Lowdon took the time to express his gratitude towards numerous individuals – including Bernie Ecclestone and James Allison - who did their bit to save the team.
“Abu Dhabi's going to my last race with the team and rather than focus on the reasons, I would prefer to focus on the fact that the most important task this year was to make sure that the team continued racing.
“We had to stop before the end of last season, we weren't in Abu Dhabi last year, and that required an awful lot of hard work and an awful lot of commitment as well. It's quite well documented, the staff were all made redundant on the 7th of November, 2014 and things looked pretty bleak at that particular time.
“My own opinion is that Formula One racing teams are pretty precious things and something that deserves effort in making sure it continued. Certainly my belief in the team at that stage never wavered once. We worked very, very hard to make sure that the team was in a position to continue racing.
“We had a lot of help. Now is probably my only opportunity actually to thank a few people who were instrumental in the team being able to continue and certainly over that period, November, December, January, we received a lot of help from Bernie Ecclestone in particular, also from Jean Todt and I have to say everybody involved in the governing side and the commercial rights side were entirely constructive during that whole period and the team wouldn't have survived without that input.
“Also from Ferrari who were really, again, instrumental, not just in the team being able to survive and get an engine deal at very short notice but also from the very first race, a commitment from James Allison in particular. He has a very important and public task at Ferrari, ensuring that their team is in a good position but from our point of view, as a customer team, we received some really pivotal support from him.
“Of course the staff at the team; we had to get a team back together very very quickly and that would not have happened if we hadn't have been able to attract a lot of the same faces who were with the team in the previous years. Again, that was extremely important.
“If that hadn't have happened, the team wouldn't have continued as well, so a lot of things had to come together and so from my point of view, this has been a pretty difficult season but that's secondary to the fact that the team continues, and that's the most important thing.”
Manor Racing is the only team yet to confirm its drivers for the 2016 Formula 1 season, though it has brokered a deal to use latest specification Mercedes power units in a deal that is expected to see the team take a stride towards the mid-field.
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