Report: Hellmund linked to potential Manor interest

AP
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While news emerged over the Mexican Grand Prix weekend of planned departures for Graeme Lowdon and John Booth at Manor, both of whom are set to resign at the end of the year, a new potential owner could be coming in the form of Tavo Hellmund and his group of investors.

Hellmund, the original architect of the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas before being forced out there, also brought the Mexican Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

He’d hinted to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at Mexico that besides his thinking of bringing another new race to North America, he’d also be keen to invest in a team.

A report from the Austin American-Statesman out Tuesday added more to the Manor theory, with several comments hinting he’d like to take over the team from OVO’s Stephen Fitzpatrick, who bought the team earlier this year.

“It would never be our goal to compete with the manufacturer teams. We’re never going to spend $400 million a year like Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren,” Hellmund said, via the Statesman.

“But we think you can run it respectably and not be in the red. I think you can fight for fifth.”

This would need to happen sooner, rather than later.

“I think if we get to late January or February, it may be too late, and my partners and I would probably lose interest,” Hellmund said.

He also had a more radical idea on the driver front, suggesting Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be his first choice to drive (more here from NASCAR Talk).

Alexander Rossi, who currently flies the flag in the U.S. as the country’s first American Formula 1 driver in eight years, has started four Grands Prix to date with the Manor team, and will make his fifth and final scheduled start this weekend in Brazil.