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Hellmund eyeing Manor?

NEWS STORY
11/11/2015

Tavo Hellmund has revealed that he is considering buying the Manor F1 team.

The Mexican, who was the driving force behind the construction of the Circuit of the Americas and responsible for the return of the United States and Mexico to the F1 calendar, has admitted that he, along with a group of other investors, is pondering buying the Manor F1 team.

"I'm in the fortunate position that I don't really need to do another project," he told the Austin American-Statesman, as he reflects on the recent Mexico City race, an event that has drawn plaudits from fans, drivers, team bosses and the media. "I plan to take a step back and really enjoy the moment, try to learn how to smell the roses that everyone keeps telling me I need to do, although I haven't been able to figure out how to do that."

However, with an eye on the fact that in the coming years the smaller teams look likely to get a bigger share of the sport's income, he reveals that he is pondering making a bid for Manor which is currently owned by Ovo energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick who saved the team from extinction earlier this year.

"It would never be our goal to compete with the manufacturer teams," admits Hellmund. "We're never going to spend $400 million a year like Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren. But we think you can run it respectably and not be in the red. I think you can fight for fifth."

According to the American, fifth in the Constructors' Championship would be worth around $65m, which would cover half a proposed budget of $120m. Key to finishing fifth however, would be a good chassis and a decent engine.

"Manor Marussia cut a deal to be able to have Mercedes motors next year, which is a step forward as opposed to a year and one-half old Ferrari spec engine," he said.

For the deal to happen Mercedes would need to confirm the engines will be there and the necessary financial checks carried out, Hellmund admits that this could take as long as sixty days.

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

As for drivers, Alexander Rossi has clearly impressed. He has the resume," says Hellmund.

In terms of the other driver, Hellmund has his sights set on a man who could bring a whole new audience to F1, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr, though at 41, few, including Earnhardt himself, would take such a move seriously.

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1. Posted by Darvi, 12/11/2015 13:29

"Possibly a good time to buy into Manor - with the Mercedes engine and Williams partnership for 2016, they could well see a useful performance jump."

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