The Manor Marussia Formula 1 team has confirmed that it will postpone its plans to introduce a new chassis this season in order to make a major step forward in 2016.
The South Yorkshire-based team had originally planned to develop a mid-season upgrade, having started the season with a modified 2014 car. However, with the car proving reliable the team has focused its efforts on the future instead.
The squad has recruited a number of key personnel, including Bob Bell, former Mercedes Technical Director, as part of its comprehensive restructuring following the team’s last minute resurrection.
Graeme Lowdon, Manor Sporting Director spoke of the team’s plans with Autosport:
“The plan we had at the start of the year envisaged making some major change to the chassis and powerunit during the 2015 season. But as we developed and recruited more people, it became less and less feasible to go down that route and more advantageous to keep developing the next chassis.”
“The rate of development of that chassis has been good and the optimum time to push that button was getting pushed back. Everyone is confident that when the next car comes along, it will be a major step forward.”
“Other teams managed to get points at certain stages where you have to say, if we compromise the 2016 build by building something new now, what reward would we get for that?”
While rumours circulate that Manor will switch to Mercedes power next year as part of its upgrade, Lowdon is keen to reiterate that the team isn’t standing still in the meantime:
“I’m pretty sure we’ll have some new things in Singapore and/or Japan. There are a lot of upgrades which are applicable to next year’s car so it’s not costing us development time. We’ll definitely keep bringing things.”