Losing tenth unlikely to change Manor’s 2017 line-up

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In the round-up: Manor’s Dave Ryan says the team’s fall to last place in the constructors’ championship is unlikely to influence their decision on drivers for 2017.

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Recent changes at McLaren have prompted some strong feelings:

As a McLaren fan I’m totally unsatisfied with the recent changes the team has made. I was finally getting the feeling that they were on the way up, but with Dennis being fired and Brown replacing him, I am afraid that he will want to make changes within the organisation that will hold the team back. They have had a company restructure two years ago, and it takes time to see the result of changes like that. If Brown would like to make an impact (which new CEO’s often do), McLaren will be starting from zero all over again. And then again, Zak has a lot of experience at the commercial perspective of business, but he has got no clue of running a Formula 1 team. How will that unfold?

Dumping Ron Dennis is in my opinion an unforgivable mistake, which is purely based on a personal vendetta between the shareholders. As odd as Ron might appear as a person, without him, McLaren would not be existing at all, let alone be one of the most successful teams in the history of F1. Don’t forget it is not just the F1 team, but also the road car company that he has build and developed into a highly profitable business. He is a McLaren legend, and a Formula One icon. You don’t through someone like that out of the company he build, just because you don’t like him. You cherish a person like that, and treat him with the respect he has rightfully deserved.

My love for McLaren has taken a huge hit due to these developments. One part of me would still want nothing else than to see McLaren on the top step again, the other part of me wouldn’t care less to see the team go through the drain just to see these shareholders take huge losses on their investment.

Selling the majority of the company’s shares, is the biggest mistake Dennis has made, and something only he can take blame for. Williams in that matter, took a wiser decision to hold the majority when they sold their company shares.

We’ll have to see how things will unfold. I am not too optimistic, but regardless of the outcome, this entire situation is a big shame and as a big fan of the team, I am honestly angry about it.

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Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position as the pair fought for the championship in the final race at Yas Marina.

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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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22 comments on “Losing tenth unlikely to change Manor’s 2017 line-up”

  1. re: COTD from @spafrancorchamps: Zak Brown has a long history in motorsport and was believed to be in the running to replace Bernie as head of FOM. He’s not some chump who will steamroll McLaren’s management structure to lay down his fingerprints. Yes, there may be pressure from the other shareholders, but Brown isn’t stupid.

    1. They wanted Brawn but thanks to a typo got Brown. I kid, I kid. It’s a good appointment.

    2. I agree with that @optimaximal, Zak Brown is a good hire (although nobody can replace Dennis IMO). I must say that I am a bit curious though about him maybe leaving to run the marketing for FOM in the future anyway

    3. I also wanted to add a comment on this line in the COTD:

      And then again, Zak has a lot of experience at the commercial perspective of business, but he has got no clue of running a Formula 1 team.

      Technically, he doesn’t have to have a clue about how to run an F1 team because that is Eric Boullier’s job. As I said in the article, Zak Brown is a tremendous hire for McLaren. He knows their business through and through and he is passionate about motorsport.

    4. Spafrancorchamps
      22nd November 2016, 11:01

      Thank you Keith for the COTD! To clarify my point of view regarding Brown: I don’t think Brown is a nobody. I am sure he will do good for the commercial side of the company. But they stated he is also hired to restructure strategic operations to make McLaren a succesful team again. He may be passionate about motorsport, but no man knows better how to structure a winning team than Ron. Dennis has slowly restructured McLaren after Whitmarsh had made a big mess out of it. Partnering with Honda has slowed this process, but 2017 should be the year wherein his work pays off. Succes would also attract more sponsors. Boullier may be the official leader of the team. But you can be sure a control freak like Dennis kept him on a leash. Therefore there are rumours of Boullier not having a good relationship with Dennis.

      Attracting a new director to restructure the strategy again is pointless. With Ron gone, Boullier gets a lot of freedom to make changes too. To implement changes takes time, and getting to see results of them can take years. Putting the team through all of this, just because of a personal vendetta is wrong. Dennis was the right man at the right place. He has been that for almost 40 years.. I just can’t see how McLaren is a better team without Ron, than with Ron.

      It reminds me of Apple’s shareholders. Who got rid of company founder Steve Jobs during the nineties. 10 years later they needed him back because the company was doing horrible without him. He then made Apple the best valued company in the world. Since he passed away, I notice Apple is doing worse when it comes to innovation and market competitveness. I fee Ron Dennis is for McLaren what Steve Jobs was for Apple. Irreplacable.

      1. Apple’s stock was at 54.47(aug 31, 2011) when Jobs officially resigned, it closed at 111.80 today. I get the idea of an icon representing a company but sometimes, to move forward you need to end an era and start a new one. I liked Ron a lot but I’m very optimistic about the future. A young driver coming into the team, new rules/regulations, and new management. I look forward to the new era!

  2. I think its quite clear that Manor are not in control of their destiny, in terms of how the WCC points end up. The car is not good enough for top 10, so are just being opportunistic wherever it can. Sauber are exactly in the same boat, however, it seems that Sauber at most tracks seem to be able to finish ahead of the Manor, so it stands to reason that any opportunities that Manor may have, Sauber would be well placed to capitalise on as well… But both these teams just aren’t in control of when they can and can’t score points, they show up and hope for the best and when it doesn’t happen, they roll the dice the next week out.

  3. That 10th position means more to Sauber as they were to lose the bonus money and the team is very fragile at the moment. Nasr did deliver the points, he deserves some recognition but that said all things considered, he hasn’t shown the raw speed to be in f1, yet I think the man who lost Manor’s money might be jumping ships. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Pascal and Nasr swapped seats. I don’t rate Pascal particularly high either but it’s only fair to give him another season, without real benchmark some of his performances are incredible but I don’t think Manor was that bad at all.

    Brown like Toto and Lowe is looking to reap the rewards of someone else’s work and vision. Making the Honda Mclaren connection last is squarely Ron’s achievement and now that the PU is definitely not the “anchor” it once was someone is trying to steal the spotlight. I know the team has not major sponsor but those are won by results, the sort of major sponsors on teams like Williams are more of a “façade” than a proper partner. In the 2017 has started a long time ago for most teams.

    1. Nasr did showed that he have what F1 needs in 2015. 2016 season is just not to be remembered, Sauber’s car is almost impossible to drive, and the team can’t barely setup his car right at many weekends. Yet, when skill matters like last race he showed what he can do. He finished ahead of higher rated drivers with better cars.

      1. Miane. Apart from that valuable 5th in 2015 Nasr wasn’t quicker than Ericsson, more reliable. The gap between these 2 has only grown, and to Nasr’s credit it is he again who salvages Sauber. Regardless of what the tables say, Ericsson did beat Nasr, just because he has scored doesn’t mean that he has more speed in him. I don’t know whether is sabotage or excuses but after 40 together to me, only the big changes of 2017 will be able to affect who’s quick and who’s not, fresh start.

        1. It’s not about sabotage, they don’t have time and money to give equal attention to both cars. That’s the only reason I see for a driver to be very fast on friday and get a trash car on saturday, or a trash car all weekend, like ocurred many times this season. It’s not about Sauber’s car being slow, it’s about car setup and team personnel.

          Look at Raikonen case, they changed some people around him and he improved a lot. I think Nasr case is pretty similar, he have poor skilled people around him.

  4. Sigh Bernie (playing games with Singapore and with Liberty).

    1. I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing more than the rest of us to be fair.

      It is hard to gauge from the outside how much of the track’s position is just a feint while sensing weakness in the current structure, or whether it’s a genuine statement of intent. The Singapore night race is a truly valuable spectacle and quite a different situation to Malaysia’s.

  5. I wish both Sauber and Manor could get the money. Take it of Ferrari, they might not even notice.

    1. +1, or even better, take it straight off Ecclestone

  6. Have Manor stated when they will announce their driver line-up for 2017?

    1. I hope to see Nasr on Manor. I think they have a chance to fight for 9th next year. I think Sauber will take Gutierrez or Wherlein/Mercedes money.

    2. don’t think so @phylyp, at least I don’t remember and I haven’t found any news related to that subject.

      I really have no idea what they are going to do. Pascal wasn’t chosen for the FI seat, so could that be a sign of things to come, or will they keep him and pair him with a rookie?

      Haryanto has said that he has a 50/50% chance of returning, but taking into account the comments of today’s news doesn’t look like it is going in his favour.

      Then they have King and Rossi as developing drivers.

      I have no clue to be honest

      1. Thank you @johnmilk. I remember Sauber stating they’d lock down their line-up before the end of the 2016 season, and they’ve done half of that with Ericsson’s seat but – like you – I don’t recall Manor giving any indication of the same.

        Miane – It would be slightly ironic to see Nasr at Manor, right after he sent them backwards in the constructors’ standings!

    3. Just saw somewhere that Sauber is considering Pascal for their vacant seat (autosport.com)

  7. Aerodynamics McLaren’s biggest challenge for 2017 – Alonso

    Just like ’13 and ’14 then, Progress? Maybe by 2019 they’ll have a car equivalent to the 2012 McLaren

  8. I take my hat off to the comment of the day. From a 30+ years McLaren fan who feels really sad for all Ron is being through

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