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Manor brings engineers: will Manor become the Renault works team?

Manor brings high-ranking engineers
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M anor is the bottom of Formula 1. Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi drive a converted car from last year and 2014 Ferrari engines on the edge of the 107 percent hurdle. After the summer break, Manor wants to present its 2015 model. For 2016, Manor was traded as a B-Team by McLaren. But that is now called into question.

Manor surprisingly announced the signing of three high-ranking engineers. Former Toro Rosso and McLaren technician Luca Furbatto is to become head of the design department under technical director John McQuilliam. Gianluca Pisanello becomes the new chief engineer. The Italian previously worked at Caterham and Toyota.

Bob Bell is available to team bosses John Booth and Graeme Lowdon as an advisor in rebuilding the team. Bell has been in Formula 1 since 1982. On his travels, he worked for McLaren, Benetton, Jordan, Renault and Mercedes. And finally again for Renault as a consultant.

Bell and Pisanello were on Renault's wish list

By the names Bell and Pisanello are ringing the alarm bells. Both should become part of the Renault works team that sports director Cyril Abiteboul and brand ambassador Alain Prost want to bring to the start. The former Renault technical director Bell had checked four different racing teams for a possible takeover on behalf of Renault. These included Toro Rosso, Force India, Sauber and Lotus.

Toro Rosso, Sauber and Force India apparently failed. For some the purchase price was too high, for others the liabilities. At last only Lotus was left. The racing team was interesting for Bell because he knew it very well. Lotus resides in the Enstone factory where Bell worked from 2001 to 2010 before he switched to Mercedes.

Manor new landing site for Renault?

Renault representatives met in Monte Carlo again with Lotus team boss Matthew Carter. CEO Carlos Ghosn and his colleague from Mineralölpartner Total called on Bernie Ecclestone. In both cases it was about a takeover. It became clear: Renault wants to return to Formula 1 as an independent team. This is hoped for a more positive public image than just being an appendage to Red Bull.

But until last weekend it was only talks. Until then, there was never a concrete offer on team owner Gerard Lopez's tablearrived. The deal was supposed to be tied down by the end of May. Hardly possible if it is not clear how much money Renault wants to invest and how the ownership structure should then look. Lopez would hardly part with all shares.

Now, with Bell and Pisanello, two Renault people suddenly appear at Manor. A team that would be cheap. With the approval of Ferrari and McLaren, the creditors have agreed to a ridiculously small partial claim. There are only doubts about the infrastructure. That actually allows only two conclusions. Renault either sees Manor as a new landing site, or the factory project has been put on hold for the time being, freeing up the employees planned for the comeback.


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