Having failed to participate at all in the first race of the season in Australia, both of Manor’s cars appeared on track during today’s practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi completed a total of 34 laps in the team’s cars, which are closely based on the chassis they raced as Marussia in 2014.
“Obviously we are thrilled to be back on track again,” said team principal John Booth.
“On what has essentially been a shakedown and practice day – which the other teams completed a couple of months ago – we’ve achieved 34 laps of reliable running and that is a really good effort when one considers the problems teams typically encounter on the opening day of running a car.”
Booth said he took heart from the pace shown by the team’s cars on the first day as they appear to be in with a strong chance of beating the 107% time which is necessary for them to qualify for the grand prix.
Merhi, who is making his debut in an F1 race this weekend, suffered a spin during the second practice session which curtailed his running.
“In FP2 we started to do some proper running but unfortunately I had a bit of a spin into turn , which brought an end to my session.
“My apologies to the team for that as everything had been going well, but I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow and picking up where we left off.”
Manor’s debut in pictures
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20 comments on “Manor run for the first time in Malaysia”
27th March 2015, 9:43
Strange how their livery matches more of what I expected from McLaren this year. The white and red for Honda, with a few touches of black/grey. All the best to them. They were being F’d up the a by most other teams and I am very happy to see that they are back on the grid.
27th March 2015, 13:13
@tamburello they are back on the grid… on the back of the grid.
27th March 2015, 17:28
@omarr-pepper wouldn’t expect them to be anywhere else
27th March 2015, 9:50
Really good to see them getting on track (I like their colours too)
Dim sim (@dimsim)
27th March 2015, 10:07
Good start and the pace was pretty good!
Maybe if you had to add 5 kg for every million spent over 40 million these guys would be on pole!
27th March 2015, 10:08
They migth even be there i you had to add just half a kg for every million (Merc, RBR, Ferrari are all north of 150 million as far as I know)
The Manor Born
27th March 2015, 10:12
I claim dibs on that pun.
Stevens did a better job than Merhi. Although the car is still no looker, the new blandness is a tiny improvement on the blandness of the 2014 Marussia.
Apparently, Hamilton has signed his contract until 2018, yet, when he stopped in Practice 1 and asked fretfully on the radio (to paraphrase), “Did I have to stop on track, because I felt I could’ve got the car back to the pits?” it still left me wondering if he sometimes doubts the intentions of his Mercedes bosses when they make decisions about his programme. I wonder if he feels there’s a bias towards Nico sometimes.
Alonso is doing a good job of making the best of a bad car, and he will obviously beat Button in the process, but, nevertheless, I sense that McLaren is pitched towards Button’s style at the moment, with direct turn-in followed by intended tram-like stability, and doesn’t cater to Alonso’s desire for quite extreme initial understeer. If and when the chassis is rebalanced to suit Alonso, although understeer won’t be as detrimental to Button as was Hamilton’s flighty rear-end, it won’t help his pace.
Funnily enough, though, meantime, Hamilton seems to have developed a smooth style that out-Buttons Button. He looks so serene in the corners and flatters the car even more.
We are still completely in the dark as to whether the Honda could be a crushing success if its full potential were unleashed. This leaves room for scintillating anticipation of some hot performances from Alonso in the latter stages of the season, though I doubt the current rules allow for any great surprises with engines.
27th March 2015, 12:45
Hamilton felt the car was drivable, and since he’s the driver, that’s useful information– but the team had no telemetry, so they had no idea if it was a minor issue, or the engine was about to start slinging rods around the track.
I think Honda’s on track to produce a good car– although I noticed it looked a bit squirrelly. Seems to be a very responsive car. I could easily see them solidly in the mid-field this weekend, which would be a huge improvement over Melbourne.
27th March 2015, 10:15
Bernie has decided to withhold money because Manor did not run in Australia – I suppose that is just about right. However, sending them a bill for the ‘free’ transport costs – come on FOM, what are you thinking? Do you want a full grid? Have you forgotten so quickly that they have risen from the dead? Is Bernie trying to kill F1 so it dies about the sametime as he leaves us?
Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
27th March 2015, 20:58
If so, he’s mistiming it. Without some major change, I think Bernie will outlive F1.
Miguel Bento (@miguelbento)
27th March 2015, 11:00
Can someone explain me if it is Manor or Marussia? The official F1 website lists the team as Marussia in the FP results.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
27th March 2015, 11:18
@miguelbento I think they retain the name (like BMW Sauber in 2010), but it’s actually Manor. Marussia is gone as a company.
27th March 2015, 12:00
It’s probably to do with the chassis, since the official entry was definitely submitted as “Manor F1 Team”. Recall the difficulty Renault/Lotus and Lotus/Caterham had in redesignating their chassis back when they were playing musical names. Then throw in the fact that it is a 2014 Marussia with a few 2015 tweaks.
The FIA’s official entry list has them as “Manor Marussia” (running, as expected, a “Marussia” chassis).
27th March 2015, 17:55
I can’t remember the exact details and this may well be incorrect but from memory when teams have changed their names in recent years I think it is something like to qualify for any prize money due for previous season’s results there are rules about how often a team can change their name.
So if Manor had completely changed their name and dropped the Marussia part they might have been classed as a new team and so not be able to claim the prize money they were due, or it might be that they would only be allowed to change name again once in the next few years so have kept the Marussia part for now.
Remember although their entry to F1 was excepted in 2009 as Manor when they started in 2010 they raced as Virgin Racing and then were renamed Marussia later on when Marussia Motors bought a majority in the team.
Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta)
27th March 2015, 20:59
The entry is Marussia, the team is Manor. It’s the same thing that had the team the FIA called Jordan actually be Midland in 2005.
27th March 2015, 12:40
It would be a huge joke if marussia could not get within 107%. In australia the 107% was actually almost 110% in reality if you use the fastest time and not the q1 time. This means on a 1:40,000 lap about 10 seconds per lap. Add in different tire choises and we have dangerous situation with the closing speeds being dangerously high.
Let’s put that 110% number into perspective. Merc for example did the whole race in australia doing faster average speed including the start and pitstop than the 107% limit. In the race! This probably means that the full field will lap the marussia at least 3 times. Merc probably 5 times. If marussia even finishes the race. They are nothing more than a safety risk.
I hope they don’t cause a crash or interfere with the race because they are not really in it in any way… While not achieving a lap time that would put them within the 107% (in reality 110%) would be comically bad I kinda hope it happens so nobody doesn’t need to trip over the red roadblocks…
27th March 2015, 13:19
Is it just my impression or the Manor is longer than the other cars? I had the same impression last year, but I don’t know if it’s just for the lack of decals.
27th March 2015, 13:51
I guess it’s because of the paint scheme & the rear body work.
Compare this to tightly-designed rear ends of McLaren or Williams, you’d notice the difference.
Steve Roffey (@steve49)
27th March 2015, 17:53
Glad to see they made it, and look likely to be able to make the 107%, good luck guys!
Captain Shuntalot (@f1withmyson)
27th March 2015, 18:37
I’m happy to see they’re doing quite well considering these are truly their shakedown and first testing runs. Those seem like decent times. Best of luck to this team.
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