Manor F1 have had a tough start to the year, but the team is confident it is making progress. Free Practice 1 saw both cars on track at the same time for the first time this season.
Roberto Merhi is currently the only one of the two drivers to have finished a race and will hoping to improve over the course of the season. When asked how the session went, he said; “It has been a good day for me and I’m certainly feeling more at home in the car and more able to push.
“I’m pleased with the way the pace is developing as we work through set-up options and I look forward to continuing the work from today in FP3 tomorrow to prepare for qualifying.”
Despite this the drivers are still behind the rest of the field, with Mehri, the top of the two drivers, 5.754 seconds off Lewis Hamilton‘s pace in practice 2.
His team mate has yet to start a race this season. But Will Stevens is confident the team can improve leading to a more competitive car. This being despite his electrical issues which hampered his running in practice 2 to 8 laps.
“Overall, a positive first day out on track for the team, which makes the electronics issue we experienced this afternoon all the more frustrating as we had been getting into a nice rhythm. Well done to the team for quickly diagnosing it and getting me back out on track, as it is important to go into tomorrow knowing that we have resolved it.
However; Stevens never utilised both compounds which will continue to hamper him. “It was disappointing not to get a run on the option tyre but there are some good signs, particularly in terms of the pace, so we’ll look to build on that progress tomorrow.”
Even team principle John Booth was happy with the teams progress. “Today has been a largely positive day. We’ve achieved a good deal of track time which has enabled us to focus rather more on set-up.
“Consequently we have seen a good improvement in terms of pace. There is still a lot of work to do of course, but it’s encouraging to be back into a good flow”