Well, that soggy Sunday in Brazil has had some ramifications. Following a meeting of employees at the Banbury base on Friday morning, Manor Racing have once again been placed into administration. Once again, they will need to initiate a great escape if they are to make the grid in Melbourne.
It’s a stark reminder of how F1’s small teams are feeling the pinch under the current regulations.
Haas have made an early impression on the paddock. The American based squad converted their excellent pre-season into a strong debut weekend, as Romain Grosjean took full advantage of a timely red flag to secure sixth place. Eight points already on the board for F1’s youngest team and their lightening start has certainly put pressure on Sauber and Manor as the teams who stand the most to lose should Haas continue to shine.
The plot thickened on day three in Barcelona as surprising names appeared at the top of the timesheet. Nico Hulkenberg put Force India on top with an impressive time on the supersoft tyre just three tenths short of Vettel’s ultrasoft benchmark posted yesterday. Meanwhile, Haas cemented what has been a very positive start to life in the sport by finishing the day second.
Here are five things we learnt from today’s running…
The second day in Barcelona was largely a case of status quo at the top of the timesheet. Sebastian Vettel made it a brace of table topping days for Ferrari, with a run on the brand new ultra-soft tyre. Mercedes, however, were once again supreme in the mileage stakes, with a record 172 laps and finishing fourth on the timesheet after a run on the medium compound.
Here are five things we learnt on day two of winter testing…
Engines fired into life at 9am this morning, at the Circuit de Barcelona, as the first green flag of 2016 marked the start of pre-season testing. For the team widely regarded as the likely title protagonists – Mercedes and Ferrari – day one provided plenty of positives. Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheet while it was Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton who completed a marathon 155 laps.
Here are five things we learnt on the opening day of pre-season testing…
It’s been F1’s worst kept secret this winter. Rio Haryanto will make his debut in Melbourne, as he has scooped up the final seat on the 2016 grid, easing Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi out of their seats at Manor. The Indonesian brings significant sponsorship money to the table and therefore, faces a fight to hold off the pay driver tag. With three GP2 victories to his name, he certainly has potential.
Former Mercedes reserve driver and 2015 DTM Champion Pascal Wehrlein will make his F1 debut in Melbourne, as he is about to embark on a maiden campaign at Manor Racing. The minnows, who escaped the clutches of administration as Marussia at the end of 2014, are looking to move up the grid this season. With Wehrlein’s talent pairing with what has become a strong and experienced team of engineers, Manor are well equipped for a marked improvement.