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Manor limps back: Mercedes technical director joins team


Bob Bell, who was formerly Technical Director at the Silver Arrows, will join Manor to advise the team on how to rebuild.

Bob Bell, former technical director at Mercedes AMG Racing will now be advising the team

The team formerly known as Marussia went into administration last year, following a withdrawal from the U.S Grand Prix of 2014. Begun in 2010, the team won its first points at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix, where driver Jules Bianchi placed 9th. They became, in doing so, the first Russian constructors to score points at a world championship.

Tragically, later that year at the Japanese Grand Prix, Bianchi would have an accident that left him comatose. One year on from the accident, Bianchi’s condition has been described as ‘stagnant’, with the 25-year-old in the same neurological state as before. On a wet track, Bianchi’s car spun out of control, hitting the rear of a tractor crane that was removing Adrian Sutil’s damaged vehicle after Sutil had spun out of control at the same time, although uninjured. Bianchi was unresponsive to radio calls or marshals at the scene and could not be airlifted because of the typhoon in the area at the time. 

Major financial losses following the accident led to the team being placed in administration, days after racing team Caterham faced the same fate. 

Fledgling F1 team Manor, the new iteration of what was once the Marussia racing team, racing this year as Manor Marussia, have not had much success with drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi. 

Mercedes’ technical director Bob Bell has been welcomed into the fold, with the aim that he will be able to effectively advise the management at the team as they attempt to rebuild after the debacle they faced last year. Italian Gianluca Pisanello, who was with the ill-fated Caterham, which went into administration just days prior to Marussia, also joins the team as its chief engineer, while former Chief Designer at Toro Rosso, Luca Furbatto, has joined Manor in the same capacity. 

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