S5013 Manor MRT05 Australian GP 2016 – Pascal Wehrlein
It was almost a miracle that Manor was ready for the start of the season 2016 in Australia. Although the team had built a new car over the winter there was a shortage of management personnel and, as always, a lack of financial resources. Nevertheless the notorious backbencher managed on February 22nd 2016 to introduce the new MRT05 car in Barcelona. From the beginning it was clear that the team that first competed in Formula One in 2010 as Virgin Racing will fight for the last row. A few additional funds were generated with the new driver lineup. Reigning DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein signed a contract with a support of around 4 million Euro by Mercedes. For the second cockpit the Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto was confirmed. He brought money from his personal sponsor Pertamina. And there were some promises that the state of Indonesia would add more money during the season. But that didn’t happen. And Haryanto was replaced by Esteban Ocon, another Mercedes-junior (like Wehrlein), from the Grand Prix in Belgium on. Technically Manor was well positioned by the cooperation with Mercedes. Gearbox and rear axle were bought at Williams. The rest was “state of art”. Manor renounced costly experiments. Instead the team who was formed around the former Ferrari technicians Nicolas Tombazis and Pat Fry focused on reasonable upgrades. Lo and behold: During the year the Dinnington based Formula One team made good ground. Above all Sauber was suddenly within reach. And with the point Wehrlein won in Spielberg at the Austrian Grand Prix Manor was even ahead of the Swiss team. However in Brazil at the penultimate race of the season Sauber claimed ninth place thanks to Felipe Nasr. Manor lost its tenth place in the championship and the 30 million Euros from the prize money pot. The rest is quickly told: On January 6th, the team announces bankruptcy. And since no investor could be found the company was liquidated on 27th January 2017. Spark released the last Manor F1 in three different versions: Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto (both Australian GP), Esteban Ocon (GP Belgium).