Manor gets “current-year” Mercedes engines for 2016

2016 F1 season

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F1 tail-enders Manor have secured a deal to use the class-leading Mercedes power units from 2016.

Manor has been using 2014-specification Ferrari engines this year, however Mercedes confirmed the team will have a supply of “current-year Mercedes-Benz power units”. Manor will also use ‘fluid technology solutions’ supplies by Mercedes partner Petronas.

Mercedes’ managing director Andy Cowell confirmed Manor will be one of their “three customer teams for 2016”. Current customer Lotus is closing on a deal to be taken over by Renault next year.

The move likely spells a definitive end to Red Bull’s chances of securing the coveted Mercedes power units for next season.

“Although there were many factors governing our selection of an engine partner to help power us towards our long-term ambitions, ultimately the strength of the Mercedes-Benz package speaks for itself,” said Manor team principal John Booth.

“2015 has been a rebuilding year in every aspect of our operation. Although we have not been able to make the incremental strides in competitiveness that the team has enjoyed in previous seasons, we have put in place a strong foundation from which to progress.”

“Together with the potential we are seeing with our 2016 car in the wind tunnel, the Mercedes-Benz power unit will assist our return to aggressive performance development with effect from next season.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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82 comments on “Manor gets “current-year” Mercedes engines for 2016”

  1. The move likely spells a definitive end to Red Bull’s chances of securing the coveted Mercedes power units for next season.

    I think Mercedes was never going to supply engines for Red Bull. If Ferrari is smart they won’t do it either.

    1. @xtwl If they can fix the engine (and they have a token-free shot at fixing the compressor/wastegate) and use ERS on tokens, Honda might not actually be too bad a shout for Red Bull, and the engine is quite small from the ‘size zero’ concept, with Red Bull building a better car they should be ahead of resurging McLaren even if a customer..

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        1st October 2015, 13:32

        @fastiesty – I think they’d still have the same problem though as McLaren are technically the Honda works team at the moment. I imagine they have an agreement in place confirming they get priority treatment etc….

        1. @petebaldwin probably that they get priority but Honda can’t afford to not provide RedBull their latest engine to get as much running as possible and raise their game which would benefit McLaren as well. It could lead to great on track battles in the process with great drivers in both team.

          I don’t know if it is RedBull best option, but probably the most thrilling one…

          1. Well if its their only option its their best option. McLaren will do anything to stop that though as it would make everyone see how bad their car is.

        2. @petebaldwin True, so I can’t see it actually happening, although arguably it could be a plus for Honda. More likely is RB-Ferrari, and if not Toro Rosso-Ferrari as well, Toro Rosso-Honda. That or they both stay with Renault!

  2. This is great, maybe they can challenge Sauber next year. Also given that Grosjean (and whoever replaces him) looks to be the only driver change so far, hopefully Manor can afford to take on someone like Wehrlein or Ocon.

    1. @mickey18 They shouldn’t be far off considering ‘equal’ or better engines, so it depends on how much they can catch up on the car design, given they were unable to build their 2015 car and test it. Haas should be ahead of both, unless they don’t make progress with Dallara making the car based off the Ferrari data they’ve started from (and Manor 2015 cars that were bought).

    2. I’d like to think that Werlhein is part of the deal here.. He impressed in ROC last year, and looks to have all but wrapped up the DTM championship.. Certainly would deserve at least a testing role…

      1. @keeleyobsessed
        Yeah that’s the impression I get, probably a similar deal to the Bianchi one.

    3. Who is going to supply the lastest spec software though? Without the programs it’s just a very expensive paperweight.

  3. Happy for Manor. McLaren-Honda are really under pressure now. I wonder if Alonso ever sees dreams / nightmares where he drives a Minardi again…

    1. The 2001 Minardi was just as black as his McLaren right now.

      1. But the Minardi was faster and more reliable

        1. No way faster

          1. Not reliable either :)

          2. Malaysia hasn´t changed as a track, 2001 qualifying was dry as was Q1 this year (it began to rain only during Q2).

            Alonso´s Minardi-time 2001: 1:40,249
            Alonso´s McLaren-time 2015: 1:41,745

          3. Ouch, 14 years of practice, to go slower…

  4. Big boost for Manor, I thought they might get the cut price year old engines (£6m not £9m), but this shows Mercedes are serious about making them a ‘junior team’, with Petronas fuel included as well, making them more similar to Williams than Force India in the pecking order. This makes me really think we’ll see Wehrlein and Stevens/Rossi/Haryanto in the two seats.

    1. @fastiesty

      This makes me really think we’ll see Wehrlein and Stevens/Rossi/Haryanto in the two seats.

      As it stands the only way that can happen is if Wehrlein is parachuted in to another team for the last five races of this season. Even if he wins the DTM title, he won’t have enough superlicence points to race next year, so his only hope to be eligible to drive next year is to get the dispensation open to drive who’ve started at least five F1 races in the previous season. I suspect that’s what was behind Rossi’s deal, because otherwise if he falls below second in the GP2 standings he won’t be eligible either.

      1. @keithcollantine Surely the FIA would grant him an exemption? Unless that was removed from the rules in the amendment to the superlicence points (but I’ve seen it said that the 5 race rule was removed)?

        He would have had enough points if he stayed in F3 and battled Marciello for the title, so it’s harsh given a retrospective rule not to award him it.. I’m sure Mercedes won’t be impressed, if their junior strategy is basically thrown out of the window! His situation makes me think a little of Schumacher in 1991, although Schumi did battle Hakkinen for the F3 title.

  5. Great news, with the matching fuel which I’m guessing is essential.

    They’ll be able to charge quite a lot for those seats. It will be terrific if they can develop into a proper F1 team.

    1. @lockup

      with the matching fuel

      Reading what they stated closely, it doesn’t say they’ll get exactly the same fuel as Mercedes. From the same supplier, yes, but not necessarily the latest formula.

      1. Yes good point @keithcollantine. I had the impression though that the new combustion chamber is such a high compression ratio it’s only viable with the latest fuel with its slow flame front. But I guess there could be shades of it.

        1. Does it even say its about the fuel? Talking about fluids it sounds more like engine oil to me.

  6. This has Wehrlein written all over it. I thought they where trying to place him in Force India, but Perez is problably not leaving then either. I wonder if Stevens has the backing to out-pay Haryanto for the second seat.

    It will surely be strange seeing Manor being competitive in the midfield next year!

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st October 2015, 13:38

      The engine makes a big difference but they have a huge amount of work to do if they are hoping to get anywhere near the mid-field. If moving from the old Ferrari to the new Mercedes gains them 2 seconds a lap, they are still going to spend most of their race pulling over to let cars past.

      I’d love to see them join the midfield but I think it’ll need a few years of stability with Mercedes where they can improve year on year and start to be a credible F1 team. At the moment, it seems as though every time they make strides forward, they have major financial issues and end up 3 seconds off the pace again.

    2. @tequesta
      Perez is already confirmed at FI, can’t remember if Hulk is but I imagine so.

  7. Getting the Petronas lubricants/fuel is huge for Manor as Merc mentioned that they’ve redesigned the shape of the combustion chamber for 2016 specifically for something they’ve worked with Petronas on. Getting access to the results of that level of integration between Merc and Petronas could be worth a lot of performance, I think someone estimated that it was worth 40BHP over the Mobil1 that McLaren got in 2014 so you’d think that with this increasing level of integration it may be worth even more than that next year.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st October 2015, 13:42

      @alec-glen – It’s quite a big deal for Mercedes as well. They now have 4 cars driving around giving them data relating to fuel/oil safe in the knowledge that Manor stand no chance of competing with them.

      If they design something new, they can try it out on Manor first. If it works, Mercedes can adopt it and then sell it to the other customer teams once they feel they are far enough ahead in the championship to do so rather than risking anything on their own cars.

  8. Little Willy deserves a chance to race next year I think. If only because of how much he helped the team survive through this year.

    1. When was the last time a F1 team chose a driver for sentimental reasons?

      1. Ferrari racing Felipe Massa in 2013 and 2014?

      2. Fisichella to Ferrari?

        1. Luca to Ferrari in 09..

          see a pattern here?

    2. Raikkonen 2016

  9. Smart move by Mercedes. I see this being more of a move to show Bernie. “Hey we’re already are supplying three teams — we can’t possibly help Red Bull as well!”

    This way they look like the good guys to F1 fans, don’t need to give engines to Red Bull and they won’t have any more FOM blackouts.

    1. @prupp89

      Toto already publicly said that they are not going to supply RBR because they are not supplying teams capable of beating them to the championship. So I don’t know how at this point they could fool anyone with this, let alone Bernie.

      1. hahaha: next year Red Bull buys Manor, put Ricciardo and Verstappen in the hotseats and and start spanking AMG Mercedes.

  10. Congratulations to Pascal Wehrlein. He’ll be the 2nd Merc DTM driver to have reached F1, after Paul Di Resta, he can emulate Paul if he seals the championship.

    1. Not a great example to follow.

    2. You forgot Gary Paffet, who had the misfortune to have to run head to head with Hamilton for a regular F1 seat, but still ended up as McLaren F1 test & development driver for a number of years. In his day, Gary was unstoppable in DTM and would have made a handy regular F1 pilot, certainly quicker than Di Resta who was no slouch either, despite what his anti-fans might say.

  11. I just hope they can ditch their current two useless drivers… At this rate the mechanics can push the cars around the track faster than those two can drive them.

    1. If you came up against either driver of Manor at a track day or were fortunate to have one as a race instructor on one of those red letter days you would not believe how good they are. Granted they are not top line F1 but we are talking tenths here if you tried I think it is highly likely you would be 10 seconds a lap off the top and only for a few laps so either Manor driver would lap you in a race even if someone gave you a Mercedes. They are both still very good drivers and would be near the top in many lower levels of racing possibly GTE, LMP2….which is still a very high level.

      1. @KwekuQ – and you are such an accomplished race car driver that you can mock someone who made it to F1, regardless of how they did it. please change your name to Keyboard Warrior.

    2. @kwekuq A guy who is P2 in GP2 is hardly useless. Neither is a guy who was P4 in FR 3.5. And nor is a guy who was a Euro F3 champion, and P2 in FR 3.5 . Sure none of them are probably WDC material but you’re being way too harsh here

      1. If you want an example of useless look at a certain Lotus driver.

        1. Still an F1 race winner and GP2 champion which puts him in the top 0.01% of the worlds population or something like that. He too is an exceptional driver just not when judged against maybe 5 or 6 single seater drivers in a world population of 6 billion.

          1. The world population is 7 billion and i doubt that all 7 billion got a chance to try their hand at single sitter racing.
            So that statistic is bοllοcks.
            Many of those people could be better and more talented at driving than him but never had the chance to follow that road.

  12. I’m happy for Manor but I’m surprised by this. My understanding was that the rules were changed specifically to allow struggling teams to buy old-spec power units. If none of the smaller teams are going to go for the cheap option, then the rule change appears to serve no purpose other than to allow Ferrari and Mercedes to withold access to current-spec power units from teams like RBR.

    1. Not sure I know what you mean, not that I know more though. I thought the rule was to help some smaller teams financially by allowing them an older spec PU, but that didn’t mean they HAD to take an older spec…just that they could. Ferrari and Merc CAN supply RBR and TR with older spec PU’s by this rule, but nor does RBR/ TR HAVE to take an older spec.

      1. @robbie By all accounts, Ferrari have said they’re only prepared to supply RBR with an old-spec power unit, not a current spec one.

    2. You nailed it.

      Of course I guess that Mercedes will have given Manor a good deal. It seems having Manor using this engine + fuel is worth a lot to them from a development point of view. And doesn’t threaten them for the championship. Just what I keep saying. It is just a competition between Mercedes + pawns VS Ferrari + pawns VS Renault VS McLaren Honda

  13. ColdFly F1 - @coldfly (@)
    1st October 2015, 12:02

    Not very happy about the ‘current-year’ part though; I assume current is 2015.

    Somewhere in the rules it says that a PU manufacturer can only provide 1 specification, and that is how it should be.
    It feels especially wrong if it is up to the manufacturer to decide who gets what when.

    1. @coldfly ‘current-year’ will be the year in which they are competing, as opposed to the proposed ‘current-minus-one’ spec – i.e. power units from the previous year. Apparently these will only be forced on teams which Mercedes and Ferrari consider a threat.

    2. This “current-year” or next “current-year”? Quite ambiguous.

  14. well RBR and STR can bugger off now with Manor officially joining the midfield!

  15. The key aspect of this is that Manor will also be getting the Petronas “fluid technology solutions”. The fuel arms race is so key to the performance of these modern F1 power units.

  16. I just love how F1 can turn the word ‘fuel’ into ‘fluid technology solutions’.

    Congratulations to Manor Marussia, this is big for their team and it is great to see how their grit and determination has paid off.

    1. Everyone’s assuming it means ‘fuel’, but somebody close to a Mercedes tells me it’s the drinks bottles, and they’re loaned the guy who tells Rosberg to “remember to drink”

      Hope they can come up with a decent car and drivers. Ferrari power didn’t move them forwards much, but this looks like another smart decision they’ve made, like hiring Pat Symonds.

      1. @bullfrog Ferrari’s 2014 power unit which Manor is using this year was easily as bad as the Renault if not worse. It wouldn’t have brought them forward in any way except keeping them on the grid as there was no time and money to re-design the chassis to fit the 2015 PU

    2. @AmbroseRPM It is very PR, although it will mean more than just fuel – oil is a key area of development as well, especially as the current power units produce so much heat.

  17. This is it. Mclaren are going to finish dead last in next year’s championship

    1. The Blade Runner (@)
      1st October 2015, 13:15

      It’s possible.

      If that prospect doesn’t motivate Honda then nothing will!

    2. Honda has an energy deployment problem that could not be fixed in the current year. It will be fixed for next year so i really do not get this crazy idea that Mclaren are gonna be the same next year.
      Currently they can only deploy for like half or 70% of a lap depending on track and drive all the rest with 160hp less. That is huuuuuge and just by fixing that they will get more than a second of lap time compare to others(even up tp 2 seconds in tracks like Spa and Monza) even if they still lack behind Ferrari and Mercedes in overall power.
      They will not be in the same position. They may not be fighting for the championship but they will definitely be racing the others unlike this year.

  18. Finally, some good F1-related news!

  19. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! - @omarr-pepper (@)
    1st October 2015, 13:38

    Now we only need Renault to confirm Pastor is out next year to make this day the one with the best news!

    1. Nooooooooooo!! Faster Pastor and his antics are one of the main drawcards for F1 nowdays :-)

  20. With McLaren and Renault seemingly at the very back next year, it will basically be the reverse of 2005! Now for those Minardi wins with Karthikeyan rounding off the podium…

    In all seriousness, I’m happy for Manor after the last 12 months. This is almost certainly a massive step for them and they could well be challenging for regular points next season, in the same way that Force India did back in 2010.

    1. well, who can forget that memorable Monteiro vs Karthikeyan battle for third in the 2005 “US GP”??? =D

    2. Kartikeyan was driving a Jordan, trying to fight for a podium place from Monterio.. it was fun in otherwise black day at US GP

  21. An year ago Marussia missed the last races and now there are no rumours about their economical background, even considering what a horrible season they’ve had. Mr. King must have found a lot of money! Glad to see them in a “stable” condition, and on an upwards curve yet again. Wehrlein might be put there by Mercedes, but the other seat? Stevens, Rossi or King? Coincidentally, the latter are team mates in GP2 at Racing Engineering!

  22. Really happy for Manor! This is my favorite team together with Williams as it embodies the true spirit of F1. With 2016 Merc Engines and Williams gearboxes they will be giving the lower midfield a hard time with a small budget. And if, as rumored, Werhlein as driver is part of the deal, then we’ll have the pleasure to watch an exciting new young driver who has a really aggressive drivng style and good overtaking ability

  23. As some mentioned, what year is “current”. :)
    Is it this year’s engine being current, or the one that will be current in the relevant time period? :)

  24. Exciting stuff! And it looks like Merc engines aren’t the only thing Manor will be looking forward to next year

    “Williams agrees technical deal with Manor Formula 1 team”

    They might do very well indeed! Well relative to their current form at least.

  25. So Red Bull just need to buy Manor now…

  26. McLaren 2016 tailenders confirmed.

  27. Toto said: “”Mercedes-Benz has a clear Formula One philosophy based around our works Silver Arrows team and supplying benchmark Power Units to independent customer teams. We believe this approach provides Formula One with greater strength in depth and ensures a deeper level of competitiveness throughout the field.”

    I wonder if he said it with a straight face.

  28. Bootstrap.

  29. And in a surprise move, Red Bull buys Manor racing and Danny Ricciardo brings Red Bull Manor Mercedes its first ever WDC and helps secure the WCC with an on form Daniil Kyvat.

  30. #ForzaManor !

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