Former McLaren man Dave Ryan is to return to the F1 paddock in the newly created role of racing director of the Manor F1 team.
His appointment comes ahead of the imminent departures of team founders John Booth and Graeme Lowdon as new owner Stephen Fitzpatrick flexes his muscles and reorganises the team.
Ryan joined McLaren in 1973 as a mechanic and rose to the heights of sporting director. However he left the team abruptly after the scandal at the 2009 Australian GP, when Lewis Hamilton waved Jarno Trulli past under the safety car – and then denied doing so when he met the stewards, which led to a penalty for the Toyota driver. As subsequent FIA investigation saw Trulli reinstated in third place and Hamilton excluded. Ryan, who was with Hamilton in the stewards’ room, left the team shortly afterwards.
Ryan has since rebuilt his career with the successful Von Ryan Racing GT team.
“Along with our new Mercedes Benz power unit, technical partnership with Williams and recent additions to the design and technical team, Dave’s arrival is another important step towards our goal of creating a truly competitive racing team,” said Fitzpatrick.
“I am also able to confirm that John Booth and Graeme Lowdon will be leaving the team at the end of the current season. I have the utmost respect for them as individuals and for all they have achieved, both with this team and in their long careers in Motorsport, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication during this season in particular. Like every great story, there comes a time to start a new chapter.”
Ryan added: “I’m very excited to be joining the Manor Marussia F1 Team at a pivotal time in their development. Having spent time with Stephen, 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.”