The Manor F1 Team have strongly denied that they cannot field two cars at the same time, and insisted Will Stevens’ failure to start was because of a ‘complex fuel system problem’.
At no time during the weekend in Malaysia did both Stevens and team-mate Roberto Merhi share the racetrack, with the drivers taking it in turns on track during practice, but Manor’s Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon dismissed the rumours that they could only run one car at a time.
“I can guarantee you if that car could have moved, it would have raced,” said Lowdon to Autosport. “There is absolutely no question about it. And it would have qualified.
“The systems and the people were perfectly happy with the results of everything in [practice] one, two and three from that point of view, and if you look at the run plans we weren’t going round and round and round in one, two and three because we had very specific tasks in ticking things off.
“Quali we had very clear run planning for both cars, and we would have definitely raced with two cars.”
Lowdon revealed the team had been working flat out to get both cars onto the circuit during the weekend in Malaysia, and insisted that it would have been stupid not to get on track as early as they could.
“Look at Melbourne – why would you not want to be in a race at the minute?” said Lowdon. “You would drag the car kicking and screaming.
“It’s complete utter nonsense. We’ll just keep our heads down, crack on with what we have to do, and keep moving forward.”