Manor say 2016 drive ‘more attractive’ following Merc link-up

Following the decision to switch from Ferrari to Mercedes power and to use the transmission from Williams in 2016, the Manor F1 Team are expecting to be a more desirable proposition for drivers next season.

Although the team are unlikely to make any driver announcements until the 2015 season is concluded, the team have admitted they will be looking for the strongest pairing possible with Manor hoping to finally be able to bridge the gap to the midfield battle.

The 2015 driver line-up of Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi are all in contention to remain with the squad for another season, but Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon believes the deals with Mercedes and Williams could bring the team into the midfield battle for the first time, and with additional expenditure, a seat within the team could be more attractive for drivers.

“You look at the spread of performance on the grid at the minute, and if you take us out of the equation it’s still a sizeable spread,” said Lowdon to Autosport.

“But that said, I think drivers can come into teams now pretty much anywhere on the grid, and have the opportunity to show the teams and sponsors what they can do.

“With all of our changes we feel we’re going to be in the pack, and that certainly makes the drive a lot more attractive to younger drivers looking to come into Formula 1, that’s for sure.

“We’re going to be spending a lot more [money] racing next year than we have this year. It’s clearly pretty rare you have a scenario where a driver pays absolutely the full amount for a Formula 1 team to go racing. That would have to be pretty sizeable to say the least.

“But yes, the seat will be more attractive both from a sporting and a commercial side.”