Booth confident of making Malaysia start

CONFIDENT: Manor team principal John Booth. Picture: David Davies/PA.
CONFIDENT: Manor team principal John Booth. Picture: David Davies/PA.
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MANOR team principal John Booth has assured critics the marque will be on track and competing in the next race in Malaysia this month.

Resurrected from Marussia’s ashes and wrested from the clutches of administration by energy entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick, a reborn Manor headed to Australia for the season-opening race.

Although the cars passed crash tests and wider scrutiny, Manor failed to emerge from the garage as they ran out of time in a bid to rebuild their IT infrastructure, lost after all hardware was wiped days before a planned auction of the team’s assets.

The suggestion from sceptics was Manor were in Australia simply to lay claim to the £28m owed to them in prize money after back-to-back top-10 finishes in the constructors’ championship.

Booth, however, said: “I can understand people being cynical, but if that was the case we wouldn’t have brought 30 tonnes of equipment, 40 people, fulfilled our contracts with all suppliers with our best endeavours to go round and round a circuit.”

Asked whether Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi will be on track in Sepang on March 27 for practice, Booth replied: “Absolutely – we’re in a massively different place now.”