Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff is confident that Manor will emerge as a strong midfield this year, citing a shift to his outfit’s pace setting engines and several key hirings.
After exiting administration in early-2015, Manor spent the year at the back of the pack, several seconds off the pace of the other nine-teams on the grid.
However, amid poor on-track results, several changes were made behind-the-scenes to improve team’s prospects for 2016. This includes signing a deal with Mercedes for current V6 turbo engines in place year-old Ferrari power unit.
Further, several members have been added to bolster the technical staff, most notably former Ferrari engineer Pat Fry and ex-McLaren man Dave Ryan.
With all these points factored in, Wolf expects the team to make a major step forward this season.
“Manor will make a big step and not just because of the engine,” he said. “There is a good bunch of people coming together, impressive individuals with the right budget and attitude.
“I have confidence that the car and driver will have highlights and could be a solid mid-field runner.”
Manor will field Mercedes protege Pascal Wehrlein in one of its race seats. The team is yet to sign the other driver, with the spot likely to go to the highest bidder.
Formula 1 pre-season testing begins on March 22 at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya.
by Rachit Thukral