Dave Ryan has admitted that he is slightly disappointed that his Manor Racing team are not yet threatening to get out of the first segment of qualifying at every Grand Prix weekend, although he openly admits the team are in a much better position than they were previously.
Only once in 2016 have Manor seen a car escape Q1, with Pascal Wehrlein managing the feat in Austria, a race where the young Mercedes-protégé drove superbly to score the team’s first point of the season, but Ryan believes they should have been more occasions that one or both of the teams’ drivers should have made it into Q2.
“I am disappointed, you know,“ said Ryan on Motorsport.com. “If I am being absolutely honest, I would like to be in the position at where we are on the cusp of getting out of Q1 every time. That’s where we should be.
“But let’s not forget, we made a huge step from last year with very little resources, this car was designed towards the end of last year, and it’s a pretty impressive achievement, in terms of lap time gains from last year to this year. So that in itself is fantastic, but we need to be better.”
Ryan insists it is still the ambition of the team to become genuine midfield runners, with the team boss knowing it was not going to happen overnight, and is targeting to get there within the next two to three years, something he believes is a realistic aim.
“We aspire to be a really solid midfield team and that’s realistic, but it’s going to take two or three years to get there, maybe longer,” said Ryan. “We can’t just do it overnight, it’s a tall order.
“We have competition out there that is massively strong, they’ve have been around quite a while, they’ve all got lot of people, a lot of skill at the fingertips, and we just got to do better job than them.
“The team is improving all the time. Every race we go to, the guys work better with the group, we understand each other a bit better – and we are new bunch of guys, even from last race to last year, there’s been a big change around.
“As a group, we are working a lot better. We need to keep improving, there’s no doubt about that.”