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US grand prix chief Tavo Hellmund almost bought Manor F1

Former US grand prix chief Tavo Hellmund has admitted he came close to buying the defunct F1 team Manor.

The British backmarker has now closed its doors, but Hellmund told the Austin American Statesman newspaper that a consortium “agreed terms” with Manor.

“At one point we had agreed terms,” said the Texan, who founded Austin’s F1 venue Circuit of the Americas prior to its 2012 debut.

Hellmund revealed that most of the individuals in the unsuccessful buyout consortium were North American.

“They all had their different reasons for wanting to invest,” he said. “The first go-round, we were even going to involve Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’ dad,” he revealed, divulging that the rejected buyout amount was “22 million pounds”.

“We were looking to form a partnership with one of the big manufacturers, Mercedes or Honda. We had conversations with both,” he added. “That way you can get motors – discounted motors – and get a driver.”

Hellmund said the deal was on track until Brazil last November, when Sauber leapt ahead of Manor in the crucial and lucrative constructors’ world championship.

“They were starting to come to our terms, and then Brazil happened,” he said.

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