Tag Archives: Manor

Manor targets “aggressive performance development” with new package

Manor F1 boss John Booth expects to see “aggressive performance development” next year as the team benefits from its links with Mercedes and Williams.

The team will have 2016 engines, plus gearboxes and suspension from Williams.

Although there were many factors governing our selection of an engine partner to help power us towards our long-term ambitions, ultimately the strength of the Mercedes-Benz package speaks for itself,” said Booth.

2015 has been a rebuilding year in every aspect of our operation. Although we have not been able to make the incremental strides in competitiveness that the team has enjoyed in previous seasons, we have put in place a strong foundation from which to progress. Together with the potential we are seeing with our 2016 car in the wind tunnel, the Mercedes-Benz Power Unit will assist our return to aggressive performance development with effect from next season.

I am also pleased to announce that we will resume our prior technical partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, from whom we will receive the supply of transmission and suspension components. Combined with Mercedes-Benz Power Units, we are very excited about the strength of our new powertrain package and what it means for the long-term future of our team.”

Booth did not forget his current supplier: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Scuderia Ferrari for their support for our team over the past two seasons. In 2014, together we shared in the momentous occasion of the team’s first points and in 2015 Ferrari supported us to a degree that was above and beyond the requirements of our partnership agreement. Quite simply, we could not have returned to the grid without them pushing extremely hard to support the MR03B, at the same time as focusing on their own 2015 package.”


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Mercedes confirms Manor supply deal for 2016

Mercedes will supply Manor with power units in 2016, the manufacturer has confirmed.

The British team will have current-year engines, as well as Petronas fuel, for a deal that goes beyond next season. Manor will also have Williams gearboxes and, in a deal similar to that enjoyed by Haas, Williams suspension components.

Merc boss Toto Wolff said: “Mercedes-Benz has a clear Formula One philosophy based around our works Silver Arrows team and supplying benchmark Power Units to independent customer teams. We believe this approach provides Formula One with greater strength in depth and ensures a deeper level of competitiveness throughout the field.

“In anticipation of Renault’s takeover of the Lotus F1 Team, we are pleased to announce Manor Marussia as a new customer of Mercedes-Benz. It is a tenacious team with a fantastic competitive spirit, and we are all excited to see what step forward they can make next year with their new car coupled with the Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Power Unit.”

As reported here last weekend, Wolff admitted in Japan that a Mercedes protege such as Pascal Wehrlein or Esteban Ocon (also linked to Renault) could be part of the Manor deal.

However, he suggested that whatever discount Mercedes gave to get a driver a seat could be trumped by an outsider with a big budget, given that a Manor-Mercedes would be a more competitive package than the current car.

“That could be an interesting scenario, but the harsh financial reality is that Manor needs to refinance themselves and raise the budgets and I’m not sure that we would prepare to place a driver with budgets they could probably raise in the driver markets if we were to supply engines, because it could be an attractive offer for young drivers.

“It’s a bit of a tricky situation. We haven’t got a dedicated driver programme, we have Pascal, who is with us, whose main focus is DTM, and I don’t want to take him away from that focus. He has done a great job for us and he is a very exciting young driver, but I’d rather like to see how DTM pans out. So yes, that’s a possibility, but it needs many pieces of the jigsaw to come together, and it could well not happen.”

Wolff indicated that should GP3 star Ocon want to take up a Renault offer, even for a reserve role, Mercedes would not stand in his way.

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Merhi favourite for second Manor seat

Roberto Merhi has emerged as the prime candidate for the second Manor seat, despite the Spaniard having recently agreed a deal with Pons Racing for the Renault 3.5 series.

It’s understood that Manor has applied for a Superlicence for Merhi. He took part in FP1 for Caterham at Monza, Sochi and Suzuka last year, but at that stage had only been granted a licence for Friday running.

The 23-year-old has a solid record, having won the Euro F3 title in 2011, before moving to DTM. He was third in last year’s Renault series.

It remains to be seen whether his deal covers only the early races, or if he is giving up the Renault 3.5 seat. The Renault series does not kick off until April 25-26, and there are few clashes.

Merhi is managed by former F1 driver Mark Blundell.

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Fitzpatrick confirmed as main investor behind Manor revival

Manor Marussia F1 has confirmed that it intends to be at the Australian GP – and the team has formally named its new “principal investor” as Stephen Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick is the CEO and founder of UK company Ovo Energy. A longtime racing fan, he was a guest of Williams in Monaco last year, and considered an involvement with Formula E – a logical fit with his core business – before deciding to focus on F1. He also took a look at Caterham when the team was still a going concern last year. He is rumoured to have had around £40m to spend.

Former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King, father of GP2 racer Jordan, will be the interim chairman, while Graeme Lowdon is president and sporting director. John Booth remains team principal.

It’s understood that King is not an investor, but his presence clearly adds credibility to the organisation.

A Manor statement noted: “The team has been preparing the cars with which it will begin the 2015 season and which comply fully with the 2015 regulations. Later in the season it will introduce a new 2015 specification car as per the designs initiated last year.”

Will Stevens has already been announced, and the team says the driver line-up is “soon to be completed.”

“We’ve all worked incredibly hard to get the car ready for Melbourne and the season ahead,” said Fitzpatrick. “Our fans have given the team amazing support for many years and we want to restore Manor to the very best of racing in the future. I have a lifelong passion for Formula One and can’t wait for the season ahead, with Manor and the team.”

Lowdon said: “I want to thank all of the teams, the FIA, Formula One Management, our suppliers and staff and of course all of the fans for the support we’ve received over the past six months. It has been a challenging period for all of us but we’ve come through it and now we just want to go racing again. With formidable new business leadership in Stephen Fitzpatrick and the board presence of Justin King we are now in a great place ahead of the new season. This is a fantastic and very rewarding moment for all those involved with the team.”

“I know from the years I spent at Sainsbury’s that with the right people, the right values, and sheer hard work, you can turn any business around,” said King. “In Graeme and team principal John Booth we have all three and I’m fully confident that we can help Manor be competitive at the highest level of racing.”


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