Manor is refusing to give up on this year’s Formula 1 car before turning its attention to the clean slate available for the radically different 2017 model.
Manor has made progress this season following the arrival of a Mercedes power unit and Williams transmission, but continues to languish at the back of the grid. The recent Monaco Grand Prix highlighted the team’s deficiencies, with drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto 14th and 15th, respectively, the last finishers, and two and four laps down.
Manor racing director Dave Ryan is adamant the team is still learning about its car, and believes it can make improvements before turning full attention to 2017.
“At the moment we’ve work ongoing on the ’17 car,” Ryan said. “I’m sure that’s the same for everyone, although ours is perhaps not as much as some of the bigger teams in terms of percentage of effort. But we are still working hard on the ’16 car because we need to understand what we’ve got, and we need to extract what we can out of it for this year.
“We owe it to our drivers to give them the best car we can, and none of us just want to sit around and say, ‘That’s it, pack up and wait around for next year.’ If you do that then you end up nowhere.
“Can we learn anything from this year’s car? Yeah, we can learn a huge amount. It’s a great car. Relative to what we’ve had [in the past], it’s superb.”
Ryan admitted with Mercedes and Williams providing the engine and transmission, Manor’s deficiencies lay with its chassis. He believes rookie drivers Wehrlein and Haryanto are doing everything they can with the car.
“We have got the same engine as Mercedes and look how quick they are,” said Ryan. “Although Williams didn’t look too shiny around Monaco, even though they picked up their first points there for a while, again we’ve the same back end as them.
“So the rest of it is just the car and the drivers, and I have to say the drivers are doing a really good job. I can’t fault them at all.”