Graeme Lowdon believes there is no reason why the Manor Racing Formula 1 operation could not have survived and been racing in 2017.

Lowdon worked with the Manor F1 operation between 2010 and 2015 across various guises, running the team jointly with John Booth before moving into the FIA World Endurance Championship for 2016.

Manor Racing - unrelated to Lowdon's Manor Motorsport company - folded at the end of the 2016 season after owner Stephen Fitzpatrick pulled the plug, costing over 200 jobs.

Speaking to, Lowdon said that he believes Manor could have been on the grid in 2017 without any change in F1's commercial model, saying it had been stable for a number of years.

"My own view was that Manor had every chance of surviving in any case," Lowdon said. "Nothing changed in their commercial model. A few years ago, we had to navigate some very difficult things because we'd signed up for one commercial landscape and then instantly it was changed.

"But it's been quite stable the last couple of years. There has been no change in the prize structure, no change in everything.

"So I was extremely disappointed to see MRT go because I knew a lot of people who worked there and they are really good people. I think a real, real shame that that happened. I'm not really sure why, because as I say, the structure was there. It was quite a clear one.

"I think it's a shame. I think F1 is worse off without. I think it needs probably a dozen teams to give it the depth and colour and everything else like that."

The F1 grid currently stands at 10 teams, and Lowdon believes that clarity from the sport's new owner, Liberty Media, regarding its commercial plans for the sport would be the key to getting more outfits on the grid.

"[F1 needs] an absolute, clear commercial landscape with stability to allow people to plan," Lowdon said. "Our job as managers is not to let things just happen of their own accord. It's to manage a situation.

"We had some real extreme changes, whether it was new engines or removal of cost cap and RRA that was never adhered to. All manner of changes that were incredibly difficult. Thankfully, that's disappeared now.

"The last two years have been extremely stable. Everyone knew what the rules were, what the prize money is. It just needs to be the same as that. There's an awful lot than can be done to promote the sport to a wider audience still and get fans more engaged.

"I've always said that Formula 1's biggest asset is the fan base, bigger than any particular team even. All of that requires some attention."



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