After battling to bring the Manor Marussia team to the F1 grid in 2015, Graeme Lowdon and John Booth officially terminated their agreements with the team on November 20th , leaving Steven Fitzpatrick, Abdulla Boulsien, and Vincent Casey as the remaining registered directors of the team. At this time, it is not clear if the name Manor will leave the team with Graeme and John, but it is understood a name change was discussed in a recent strategy group review. It should also be noted a holding company Just Racing is registered alongside Manor Grand Prix Racing at the team headquarters in Banbury.
Both Graeme Lowdon and John Booth are highly respected figures in the F1 paddock, as is the racing pedigree of Manor. Until a recent interview for Sky Sports it was believed Lowdon and Booth came as a pair, and the partnership would be unlikely to be seen in F1 in the near future. However, during the interview suggestion was made that Graeme Lowdon may be joining another team on the grid in a new capacity. In addition, the launch of the ‘@realmanor’ twitter handle suggests the name may continue to be used in the future away from the current team.
With a future as part of the team formally know as Manor Marussia seemingly out of the question, this article will explore the possible new home on the 2016 grid for Graeme and the likelyhood of each. It has been assumed that any new role would be for a UK based team, and that despite questionable management decisions made at Red Bull Racing in recent seasons, management remain supportive of the current structure. Given the changes with the Renault F1 team a move towards Enstone has also been disregarded at this time.
Williams F1 Team:
Despite finishing 3rd in the 2015 Constructors Championship the Williams F1 Team and drivers have voiced disappointment with the team performance, seemingly unable to extract that final element of performance required to mount a genuine challenge for the top step. This coupled with a number of blunders in pitstop procedures and rumours of senior management moving to new challenges with the Haas F1 Team, perhaps the pragmatic no nonsense racing approach adopted by Graeme Lowdon would sit well alongside the commercial savvy of Claire Williams.
Sahara Force India F1 Team:
Change in team branding and possibly ownership is expected in the near future, Graeme Lowdon and even the Manor brand could offer racing pedigree and a steady hand during a possibly lively management period.
Haas F1 Team:
Success in F1 comes through experience. Graeme Lowdon has highly relevant experience to any new team joining the sport, he knows how to run a team on a budget and optimise all resources available. He also has practical experience of working with Scuderia Ferrari and knows the Haas UK headquarters well.
Ron Dennis has publically stated the team will be making a series imminent management changes, it is possible the team may again look to split the role of Team Principle bringing in a head such as Graeme Lowdon could be bring a fresh perspective on how to approach racing, and reduce the burden of responsibility on Éric Boullier.
In conclusion, it would be possible to draw sound rationale for any of the afore mentioned teams to be keen on attracting Lowdon’s services. The question should also be which prospect would be appealing to him. Outside of motorsport Graeme Lowdon is a successful entrepreneur, co founding Nomad Digital, providers of Wifi and wireless systems in transportation networks. His success away from the F1 grid allows him a security that he does not ‘need’ the sport. Either way it is highly unlikely any announcement will be made until the new year, but of the teams mentioned the most likely would seem to be either the Haas F1 Team in a bid to further strengthen the management structure or what could be a very exciting challenge with Force India.
That being said those fashion aware amongst you may have noticed since leaving the Manor Massuisa team Graeme elected to wear blue in most public appearances. Which team wears blue?
Jaguar, in Partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, earlier this morning confirmed their entry to the 2016/ 2017 FIA Formula E Championship.
Taking over the franchise, but not infrastructure, vacated by the Trulli Formula E team, the team will acquire four new Dallara chassis and develop its over powertrain.
Entry into Formula E will coincide with Jaguar launching roadcar EV technology, which following the success of the C-X75 concept, will be a joint development again with Williams Advanced Engineering.
At this time Jaguar have not finalised details around the final team name, the livery, or driver line up, although representatives are keen to make clear the team will focus on the heritage of the Jaguar brand alongside new technologies
Jaguar’s entry into Formula E represents the brands first official participation in a single seater series since the sale of the Jaguar F1 team in 2004. The team that went on to become four time world champions Red Bull Racing.
Involvement of Williams Advanced Engineering in this project is a further demonstration on the diversification strategy of the Williams Group (Williams F1 Team) such developments strengthen the core of the business reducing any reliance on sponsorship. It should not be dismissed that Williams and Jaguar may look to further expand their partnership in future years, possibly towards Formula One.
Check out the video to celebrate the launch here:
Jaguar’s C-X75 supercar featured in the new Bond adventure, SPECTRE, made its Americas debut in Mexico City today with Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa at the wheel. This activity celebrates the Americas movie premiere and the Formula One™ Gran Premio de Mexico.
SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment, sees the Jaguar C-X75 driven by latest Bond nemesis Hinx in one of the movie’s most iconic high speed car chases.
Driven by actor Dave Bautista, who plays Hinx in the movie, the C-X75 supercar, named the most advanced Jaguar ever created, was provided by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) in collaboration with development partner Williams Advanced Engineering.
Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group, collaborated with Jaguar Land Rover to design and build the original Jaguar C-X75 prototype, variations of which appear in the film in a spectacular car chase sequence through Rome alongside the Aston Martin DB10.
Seven new C-X75s were built at the Williams facility in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations division. This included two “hero” cars that retained the interior and hybrid powertrain of the original, and five stunt cars built with a level of robustness that could withstand complex and demanding stunt sequences, using a modified Jaguar supercharged V8 and a bespoke space-frame chassis.
Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa, said: “It was a thrill to take the wheel of a real stunt car used in a Bond movie. Jaguar partnered with Williams Advanced Engineering on the production of these stunning supercars, so it was great to experience some of what my colleagues have developed outside of F1. It was so much fun, and very exciting to be driving the Jaguar on an actual SPECTRE location here in Mexico City.”
Williams will also display a 007 SPECTRE logo on the top of the chassis and 007 logos on the wing mirrors of both FW37s at this weekend’s race.
Speaking about the updated livery Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal and Commercial Director of Williams, said: “As a quintessentially British team, we were more than happy to work with two other iconic British brands, in Jaguar Land Rover and the Bond franchise, to show our support this week for the much anticipated launch of SPECTRE.”