Manor's Booth bows out after six hard years

Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:14pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - John Booth summed up his time as a Formula One team principal with typical Yorkshire bluntness after bowing out in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

"It’s been a bloody tough six years. I’m absolutely drained," the departing Manor Marussia boss told Reuters before flying off, not so much into the sunset as towards a rising sun and well-earned rest.

"I’ve neglected my wife so the first thing I’m going to do is go to Australia for three weeks. It’s a good opportunity to clear the mind."

Booth, now 60, has lived the dream and endured the nightmares in a lifetime in motorsport that saw him compete against Ayrton Senna in Formula Ford in the early 1980s and then work with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in junior series.

The one-time boss of Manor Motorsport found success as a team owner in Formula Three and moved into F1 in 2010 as one of three entries lured in with the promise of a cost cap and guaranteed payments.

The other two, HRT and Caterham, have already folded but Manor Marussia -- which started out as Virgin Racing and then became Russian-owned Marussia before its latest incarnation -- lives on after fighting back from administration.

Booth, who has resigned along with sporting director Graeme Lowdon, did not want to go into the details but said the team was well-placed for the future despite failing to score a point this year.

Of his own future, he was less certain.   Continued...

Marussia team principal John Booth (C) walks into the hospital where Marussia Formula One driver Jules Bianchi of France is hospitalized, in Yokkaichi, Mie prefecture, October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino