While looking into a Northern California location for a new Grand Prix Circuit, American developer Tavo Hellmund has been putting together a group to purchase a controlling interest in the Manor F1 team to bring another American Formula 1 team to the grid. The driver lineup mentioned includes NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Alexander Rossi, who currently drives for the Manor F1 Team and according to Hellmund, “He has the resume.” in a recent interview with the Austin Statesman-American.
Costs of operating a successful Formula 1 team are high, and Hellmund has tempered expectations adding that, “It would never be our goal to compete with the manufacturer teams. 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.”
Hellmund added that “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,” which is currently run by the team putting them roughly 50 hp down on the current spec engines of other teams.
Timing would be critical for 2016, with diligence and engine to be finalized. Hellmund gives it until early next year to sort out: “I think if we get to late January or February, it may be too late, and my partners and I would probably lose interest”.