So Manor will have Mercedes power units and Williams F1’s gearboxes and suspensions in 2016? Does that mean the team will move from their coveted “get the hell out of the way” status on track to a real points contender?
The hopes of scoring points may still come down to the kind of chassis the team puts their new Merc lump and Williams gear in to. If the chassis is there or thereabouts, then this little team that could may find themselves giving the back end of the mid-field teams a run for their money. If John Booth and Grame Lowdon get it right, they could find themselves pinching Williams F1’s backside but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
A lot of detail comes down to the software and features of the power unit supplied by Mercedes. Will they have the same engines that Lewis Hamilton will run in 2016? Perhaps but will it have the same software and development as the Mercedes works team? That’s I’m not so sure about.
The bigger question? Will the team have the cash to pay for these new bits and bobs and can they sustain any sort of development track in 2016 for their chassis to continue to fight in the mid-field? That, again, I’m not so sure of.
Regardless, the team will gain a boost from some serious shove in the back of the car and that’s a good thing. With paying drivers, they will need big dollar players in order to afford these new power units so that has me concerned about Alexander Rossi’s future there as I am not sure he can bring the kinds of cash the team will be looking for presumably. They may be looking for Maldonado type level of pay-driver contributions…which, it must be said, is probably not easy to find. That’s why Pastor is still at Lotus F1/Renault for 2016.
I’m happy for them, if not a bit concerned over their ability to make the most of it given their current financial constraints. If they can’t take the Merc lump and Williams kit and be successful and you couple that with the possibility of a team like Red Bull Racing exiting the sport because they don’t have a lump, I’d say Mercedes and F1 made an error and supplied the wrong team.
Sure, Mercedes may feel safer supplying a small team like Manor with power units as they may not be a threat to the works team but I have to think that Red Bull Racing is a much more critical cog in the machine of F1 and if Merc were really confident of their abilities beyond just the power unit, then why not supply Red Bull and let’s see what you got, Paddy Lowe. Or have the team run out of Ross Brawn ingenuity bullet points in the playbook? I JEST! Lighten up folks.