Formula 1: Alexander Wurz will not become Manor team boss

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Alexander Wurz
Wurz contested 69 races in F1, finishing on the podium three times

Former grand prix driver Alexander Wurz will not become team principal at the Manor team.

The Austrian will retire from racing after this weekend's World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain.

However, he has told Manor boss Stephen Fitzpatrick he has other plans.

Wurz, 41, told BBC Sport: "After a period of consideration, I have informed Stephen Fitzpatrick that I have taken the decision not to make myself available to Manor."

Manor team boss John Booth and sporting director Graeme Lowdon have resigned - their last race with the team will be the season finale in Abu Dhabi in November - and Dave Ryan has been appointed as racing director.

Fitzpatrick said he and Wurz had discussed the role of team principal but that a formal job offer was not made.

Former McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has also been linked with the job.

Fitzpatrick said: "We haven't offered the post of team principal to anyone but I have been talking to a lot of people and asking for advice.

"I have asked a lot of people a lot of things."

Whitmarsh said he had been in contact with Fitzpatrick but added: "I do not intend to become team principal at Manor."

Martin Whitmarsh
Whitmarsh is CEO of the Ben Ainslie Racing America's Cup team

Whitmarsh was ousted by McLaren chief executive Ron Dennis in a boardroom coup in January, and said he was "not looking for a team principal role in F1 full stop".

He added that he would "definitely say no" if he was offered the position by Fitzpatrick.

Whitmarsh is chief executive officer of the Ben Ainslie Racing America's Cup team as the multiple Olympic champion prepares for the next America's Cup in 2017, following his victory with Oracle Team USA in 2013.

Wurz, who is president of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association and also an adviser to the board of the Williams team, praised Fitzpatrick's decision to save Manor from oblivion last winter and his decisions to secure Mercedes engines and a technical partnership with Williams for next year.

Fitzpatrick, the boss of the energy firm Ovo, bought Manor last winter after the team, which raced as Marussia in 2014, went into administration and missed the final three races of last season.

"Stephen did a smart move to buy the team, and his signing with Williams and Mercedes show he's both serious and ambitious about the team's future."

Manor have yet to name any drivers for 2015, but among those linked to the team are current drivers Will Stevens, Alexander Rossi and Roberto Merhi, as well as Indonesian GP2 driver Rio Haryanto and former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen.

Magnussen, who raced for McLaren in 2014 but has been released by the team after a year as their reserve driver, is also in the running for a position with the Porsche World Endurance team after impressing in a test last week.

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