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Manor F1 team opt for experience as Dave Ryan appointed new racing director
Dave Ryan F1
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Nov 2015   |  11:00 pm GMT  |  29 comments

The owner of Manor F1 team has moved to replace the departing Graeme Lowden with one of the most experienced men in motorsport, Dave Ryan. He has taken up the post of racing director with immediate effect.

This is a positive move from Manor’s owner, Irish entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick. As well as a man who knows every millimetre of F1’s back corridors and how things get done in Team Manager level meetings, Ryan also provides credibility for the team in their dealings with Mercedes and Williams. The team will use Mercedes engines next season and a Williams gearbox and back-end.

The departure of John Booth in particular was a source of concern for Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, as he mentioned when it first came to light.

Ryan, 61, is a New Zealander, who was a mechanic for James Hunt during his world championship winning 1976 season and spent most of his career at McLaren before being fired in April 2009 after Lewis Hamilton was caught lying to stewards, following the Australian Grand Prix, apparently having been briefed by Ryan before going in.

In fact there was substantially more to that story than met the eye and Ryan was made the fall guy at a time when management regimes were changing at McLaren and he represented the old guard, which was no longer wanted. He has since been running a team in GT Racing.

Dave Ryan

Ryan is a strict disciplinarian, so culturally the team will have to change and it will be interesting to see whether there is more investment in the team from the owner or from other investors or sponsors, to enable it to hire more people and grow.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Manor Marussia F1 team at a pivotal time in its development,” Ryan said.

“Having spent time with [owner] Stephen [Fitzpatrick], and understood his vision for the future, it is clear he has ensured there is a strong platform from which the team can make big steps forward in the seasons ahead.

“Manor has all the hallmarks of a fiercely competitive racing team, but having grown up in a much more contemporary Formula 1 era, it is a very lean operation with a collaborative culture, which leaves it well placed to contend with the sport’s future direction.

“There is clearly a big challenge ahead and a lot of work to do, but I can’t wait to meet the wider team and get down to business.”

The team still needs a team principal and former driver Alex Wurz has been mentioned in that context, although there are doubts about whether he wants to do that job or has other plans.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

I for one am tired of Manor. They stiffed their suppliers for millions at the end of last year and continually trail around at the back, insisting they “are racers”. Who are they racing exactly? At best, they were 4.5 seconds off the pace in Brazil, the shortest track of the year.


Very happy to read this.

Without knowing any of the Insider details (obviously), I could never quite shake the feeling that Dave Ryan was well and truly a fall guy back in 2009


i wonder if james can persuade ryan to come and convince us that he didn’t instruct the inexperienced hamilton to lie to the stewards 7 years ago.


Find someone inside F1 who isn’t a fan of Dave Ryan and maybe you’ll need less convincing.


like james? in that case james will bring him in here..


Have you any speculation on John and Grahams departures yet James? They seem keen to play their cards lose to their chests which is indicative of not wishing to air dirty laundry/financial handcuffs- but that would lead to gossip mongers such as myself thinking it’s a fairly big schism of sorts and from Mercedes initial murmurings one they were not expecting?


Have you any speculation on John and Grahams departures yet James? They seem keen to play their cards CLOSE to their chests which is indicative of not wishing to air dirty laundry/financial handcuffs- but that would lead to gossip mongers such as myself thinking it’s a fairly big schism of sorts and from Mercedes initial murmurings one they were not expecting?

huck us a bone at least please James ?


Was always a bit of a fan of Dave Ryan after the 93 Documentary series on McLaren, so quite pleased that”In fact there was substantially more to that story than met the eye and Ryan was made the fall guy”.

You wonder how much McLaren missed him from 2009-2012 when they made some strange decisions strategically and had awful pit stops.


@ damian….you beat me to it! now that our interest has been tweaked james, how about filling in the spaces and tell us what was meant by your comment referenced above?


manor are crazy to get rid of lowden. the guy didn’t only work closely with hulkenberg, rosberg and hamilton, but muscled the team from gp2 into f1 and prevented from colaps at least twice. i would never think of getting rid of such a guy, just for his ambition alone.

mercedes must have a place for him in their team. not that they lack ambition but now that hamilyon has won enough championships and no longer winning poles, they may want lowden to come and prepare the way for verstappen, hamilton’s replacement.


Lol. There’s only one driver at Mercedes that’s likely to be replaced and I’ll stake money on it not being the triple world champion!


Erm, Manor haven’t “got rid” of Lowden. He’s resigned of his own volition. I have to say, it’s easy to cast aspersions on the competence of this Fitzpatrick guy in apparently creating a situation where Lowden and Booth feel they have to walk away, but at the end of the day it’s his team and it was his money that got them back on the grid. Appointing Ryan is a pretty good move in my opinion, and shows Fitzpatrick maybe has a bit more F1 nous than he was given credit for. It will be interesting to see what else happens at Manor over the close season.


To me the measure of how much Fitzpatrick really understands about F1 is how he works together with Ryan. Ryan is not known to be soft or polite so if Ryan still works at Manor with the full support of Fitzpatrick than yes Fitzpatrick had a bit more knowledge about F1 than many believed but I wouldn’t be surprised if the total commitment that a person like Ryan demands can be the cause of a lot of potential rumors surrounding Manor next year 😉


James, what do you mean that there is “more than meets the eye” with the “liegate” incident from Australia 2009?


Click on the link James provided and you will have your answer. From memory a lot of experts believed Ryan was possibly the fall guy for McLaren and Hamilton in this whole incident.


Exactly, good question.


JA throws out a little tid-bit, but doesn’t expand on it.. Either explain “more than meets the eye”, or leave it if it is irrelevant SVP.


Should be a good signing for Manor, hopefully they can take advantage of the Technical partnerships and take it to the mid-field. Which I’m sure they would have under Booth & Lowden


A lot of people are saying that kind of thing (about manor being compeitive next year due to new gearbox and engine)

Although I am afraid its not going to happen, the back markes are not compeitive because they dont have the downforce or cash to develop car , nothing has changed there so if they are lucky they maybe fighting haas next year.

I recall an interview with a former Caterham boss who cited that concerning a 3 sec deficit , 2.7 was aero


this year they are at the back because they are using a compromised 2014 car with the worst 2014 power unit against 2015 spec cars with 2015 spec engines. remember their 2014 car finished 9th in 2014 Constructors Championship despite missing the last 3 races beating a similarly underpowered Sauber. Before writing them of next year consider that even with these handicaps they were still within the 107% rule at almost all races.

Manor would make a good benchmark to used for a comparison of other engines development this year as they are using the unit homologated for 2014 so it hasn’t been upgraded.


The man who together with Lewis Hamilton presented the stewards with lies in Oz 2009?

Let’s hope they have a short memory.


If F1 journalists are writing about it, let’s hope the stewards are illiterate, and unable to use the internet too, while we’re at it.


Perennial tail-end Charlies I’m afraid.


And would you would have said THAT about Force India a few years ago too?

FI shows that teams can rise, teams can grow, and the mid-field is attainable given time and resources (how long did it take FI? Answer: almost the length of Adrian Sutil’s career!). Manor are an established RACING team in lower formulas…not an airline, not a drinks company…racers. The new engine deal and tech transfer gives them a very solid drive train…and McLaren had better watch out if Honda doesn’t make good on their engine next year!


That’s what they sad about Minardi/STR


And Minardi/STR won a race, didn’t they?

I don’t think anyone expects Manor to suddenly be challenging Mercedes for wins, but a contemporary car with a Mercedes engine has to be a better platform than a slow 2014 car with a 2014 engine in it.


Sure, using a jury-rigged 2014 car powered by an under powered 2014 engine they’re running a few seconds behind, but with a full 2015 spec car powered by Mercedes there’s a reasonably good chance that they’ll be right there next season and possibly even beat Sauber and/or McLaren.


Considering that I mistakenly said 2015 car when I meant 2016 car…no, but I’d still like to see them do well 🙂


Taking bets on this prediction?

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