Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

F1 encyclopedia

John Booth

Formula 1 employee

John Booth
Credit: Marussia F1 Team
Vital statistics for John Booth

John Booth founded the Manor Motorsport team that participates in many of the junior single seater events. The team entered F1 in 2010, swiftly being renamed Virgin Racing and then Marussia – Booth remained team principal throughout each transition and continued at the helm when the team scored their first championship point in 2014. He left at the end of 2015 after reported disagreements with the new Manor owners.


John Booth was initially a racing driver, participating in the Formula Ford series, with limited success. He won a handful of races, driving alongside some of the greats of F1 including Ayrton Senna. By 1989, Booth was done with racing and instead turned his attention to team management. He set up the Manor Motorsport outfit, entering the Formula Renault series in 1990.

After winning in their first year, the team went on to take five championships – three consecutively. In 1999, Manor entered Formula 3 and won the championship straight away. Booth has admitted that although success in the junior series’ came relatively easily, he had no ambitions to get into F1, believing it to be out of reach.

When the FIA opened up the grid for new entries for the 2010 season, Manor Motorsport was one of the lucky few selected to join Formula One. Despite changes of ownership, through Virgin Racing and now Marussia F1, John Booth remained team principal and helped steer the team towards success.

Despite missing out on the coveted tenth place in the championship during their first two seasons, Marussia achieved tenth in 2013, beating nearest rivals Caterham. They took another step in 2014, securing their first championship point, but sadly went into administration and folded at the end of the year.

Booth remained on board when the team came out of administration at the start of 2015, retained as team principal by the new owners. He worked through the season, but reportedly disagreements with the new bosses meant he and fellow longtime employee Graeme Lowdon departed from the team at the end of the year.