Former McLaren sporting director Dave Ryan is to return to Formula 1 next season after being named as Manor Racing’s new racing director.
The 61 year-old New Zealander was a long-serving member of the McLaren team, working his way up to the role of sporting director before departing in 2009.
In more recent years he has been the driving force behind the Von Ryan sportscar team competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series, but from 2016 Ryan will return to F1 in his new capacity as racing director for Manor.
Replacing Graeme Lowdon, who along with John Booth will leave Manor at the end of the season, he arrives at the minnow team as it embarks on a new chapter with Mercedes power in 2016.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Manor Marussia F1 Team at a pivotal time in their development,” he said. “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.”
“I’m delighted to announce Dave’s appointment in the newly created position of Racing Director,” added team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick. “He needs no introduction, of course, having spent 34 years within the sport contributing to an incredible tally of race and championship wins.
“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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, rumours in the F1 paddock this weekend suggest former F1 driver and GPDA chairman Alex Wurz has been approached for a team principal role. The Austrian, who won podiums with Benetton, McLaren and Williams over a lengthy F1 career, last week confirmed he will be retiring from racing at the end of the season having focused on sportscar competition in recent years.