John Booth: “It is great to be back in Abu Dhabi”


John Booth believes it is great for the Manor F1 Team to be racing in Abu Dhabi again in 2015 after being forced to miss the 2014 event due to the administration problems the team faced last season, and hopes the team can have a good race before the season concludes.

The Team Principal welcomes Roberto Merhi back into the team for the finale alongside Will Stevens, and believes both drivers will be eager to finish the season with the advantage over their team-mate.

“It is great to be back in Abu Dhabi, having missed this race last season due to our team’s difficult situation,” said Booth. “Yas Marina is a fantastic venue at which to conclude the season, and although both championships were decided some time ago, it will be a race that everyone wants to do well in before a well-deserved celebration.

“It’s great to have Roberto back in the car this weekend. He’s been by our side in the role of reserve driver over the past five races, but I know he has been champing at the bit to be racing again. For Will, this race marks a year since he made his F1 debut here. After a more positive showing in Brazil, I know he will be eager to carry that momentum through to this weekend.”

Abu Dhabi marks the final race as the Team Principal for Booth, who will step away from the team along with Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon after guiding them through the highs and lows since the team joined the F1 grid (as the Virgin Racing team) in 2010.

Booth also had praise for outgoing engine suppliers Ferrari, who will be oversee their final Grand Prix with the team before Mercedes come on board in 2016.

“Abu Dhabi marks our final race with Scuderia Ferrari as our Powertrain Partner,” said Booth. “We have enjoyed a fantastically collaborative relationship over the past two seasons, working together very much as one team.

“Our Ferrari colleagues have been our team-mates, like any other. We have shared a few highs and lows together, but our abiding memory will be that special day in Monaco 2014, when together we achieved our team’s first championship points.

“On a personal note, on Sunday evening I’ll be bidding the F1 paddock farewell for now. I can’t deny it will be a strange feeling for me; after all, we have been through so much together. But I am comfortable knowing that I will leave the team in the best shape possible, ready for its new chapter.”