Using an updated version of its 2014 chassis, Ferrari permitted Manor to use its 2014-specification engine this year, but the team is primed to get a huge boost in 2016 having reached an agreement with Mercedes to use arguably the strongest power unit on the grid.
A milestone for the team, which made its F1 debut in 2010 under the Virgin Racing banner, Manor has notched up just one top ten finish in that time – the late Jules Bianchi’s memorable ninth place in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix – but team principal John Booth believes this deal will be critical in its ‘aggressive performance development’ plan for 2016.
“I am delighted to announce our new power unit partnership with Mercedes-Benz for the 2016 season and beyond. 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.
“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.”
Praising Ferrari for going above and beyond its agreement to supply engines in 2014, Booth also confirmed Manor will enter into a technical partnership with Williams to receive a supply of transmission and suspension components.
“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.
“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.”