Toto Wolff believes the Manor F1 Team will be finally be able to make the jump into the midfield battle in 2016 after the team agreed an engine partnership with Mercedes and a transmission tie-in with Williams.
The Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport knows the team have been held back considerably by using 2014 Ferrari power and a modified 2014 machine rather than anything 2015-spec this season, but feels 2016 will see a different outcome for the Manor team.
“I think they are able to step up,” said Wolff to Autosport. “Certainly they have been running this year with the constraints of last year’s administration, using a 2014 Ferrari engine.
“With the additional time they’ve been given this year and the lessons they’ve learned – and with our power units and with Williams’s input – they are certainly able to step up into the midfield.”
Wolff has admitted he is impressed with how the team have risen like a phoenix from the flames after going into administration at the back end of 2014 in their previous incarnation of Marussia, and believes there are a ‘good bunch’ of people within the team trying to help them progress.
“It’s pretty impressive how Manor has managed to recover from such a difficult situation, and it certainly shows they are serious,” said Wolff.
“With the structure they have set up for next year, with the Williams technical collaboration and the rear end, it made it simple for us to provide the engine. We just need to fit it in the same way as we do with Williams.
“But there is a good bunch of racers in the team, and this is why it will be exciting for us to see them progress. It continues our philosophy of supplying independent racing cars.”