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Wurz turns down Manor role

NEWS STORY
18/11/2015

Alex Wurz has turned down the role of team principal with Manor.

The Austrian, who last week announced his retirement as a driver, was linked with the British team at the weekend as former McLaren man Dave Ryan was being signed up as Sporting Director.

However, Wurz has turned down the offer, telling 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."

With Ryan on board, Wurz having worked alongside him during his many years as test and reserve driver at McLaren, seemed a good fit for the British team which only a year ago appeared to have reached the end of the road.

Saved at the eleventh hour by energy boss Fitzpatrick, the team, under the guidance of (founder) John Booth and Graeme Lowden, has performed admirably this season.

However, it is next season that really excites, the team having secured Mercedes engines and a technical partnership with Williams. An advisor to the Williams board, and former driver with the Grove outfit, five of Wurz' seasons at Woking were when Mercedes was supplying the engines.

Fitzpatrick was at pains to make clear that Wurz wasn't formally offered the role of team principal.

"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," he admitted. "I have asked a lot of people a lot of things."

Indeed, it is understood former team boss at McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh, is among those who have 'talked' with Fitzpatrick, but similarly isn't interested, the Briton now CEO of the Ben Ainslie Racing America's Cup team.

The team has also yet to confirm either of its drivers, and while in recent days Kevin Magnussen has been linked with a seat, as have current drivers Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi, the latest Pitpass podcast sees editor Chris Balfe suggest that Mercedes DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein might be on his way to the Banbury squad.

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