The Manor F1 Team should make a major step forwards in 2016 following confirmation that it will be supplied with Mercedes’ championship-winning power units on a ‘multi-year’ agreement.
The announcement comes ahead of Renault’s anticipated takeover of the Lotus F1 Team, which would have to relinquish its supply of customer Mercedes power units.
The Manor team has used 2014-spec Ferrari engines for the past two seasons, but from 2016 onwards it will receive current-spec Mercedes engines and lubricants from the works’ team’s fuel partner, Petronas.
The Sheffield team will also resume its previous technical partnership with Williams, which involves the supply of transmission and suspension components from the former championship-winning outfit.
“I am delighted to announce our new power unit partnership with Mercedes-Benz for the 2016 season and beyond,” Manor team boss John Booth said.
“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.
“[It] 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.”
The news was widely expected in the F1 paddock and, with a brand new car being designed, the team is expected to genuinely be able to compete to get off the back row of the grid.
Fellow cellar-dwellers McLaren-Honda should be nervous…
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