Former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King and Ovo Energy founder Stephen Fitzpatrick back Laughton’s John Booth as Manor F1 get set to race in Melbourne

Marussia Virgin Racing Team Principal, John Booth  (w110705-5a)
Marussia Virgin Racing Team Principal, John Booth (w110705-5a)

Dinnington’s Manor F1 say they are ready and raring to go, ahead of the first Grand Prix of 2015.

The race was on for the team, formerly Virgin Racing and Marussia, to get investors on board and resurrect a brand that had gone into administration, in time to take part in the Melbourne Grand Prix.

But in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the racing outfit confirmed they were ready to commence battle in the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Manor also confirmed their new investor was energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of Ovo Energy, and former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King will be the team’s interim chairman.

The statement said: “The team has been preparing the cars with which it will begin the 2015 season and which comply fully with the 2015 regulations.”

“Later in the season it will introduce a new 2015 specification car as per the designs initiated last year.”

Sporting director Graeme Lowdon expressed his gratitude to those in the sport who had helped set the wheels in motion to allow Manor back into competitive racing at the top level.

“I want to thank all of the teams, the FIA, Formula One Management, our suppliers and staff and of course all of the fans for the support we’ve received over the past six months,” he said.

“It has been a challenging period for all of us but we’ve come through it and now we just want to go racing.”

“With formidable new business leadership in Stephen Fitzpatrick and the board presence of Justin King we are now in a great place ahead of the new season. This is a fantastic and very rewarding moment for all those involved with the team.”

King, meanwhile, said that Laughton man John Booth – the founder of the original team in 2010 – is a vital part of the new set-up.

“It’s a real pleasure for me to be involved in Manor.”

“I know from the years I spent at Sainsbury’s that with the right people, the right values, and sheer hard work, you can turn any business around.”

“In Graeme and Team Principal John Booth we have all three and I’m fully confident that we can help Manor be competitive at the highest level of racing.”

Investor Fitzpatrick, who not so long ago was a mere spectator and enthusiast, said: “We’ve all worked incredibly hard to get the car ready for Melbourne and the season ahead. Our fans have given the team amazing support for many years and we want to restore Manor to the very best of racing in the future. I have a lifelong passion for Formula One and can’t wait for the season ahead, with Manor and the team.”