It has been announced this afternoon that the Manor Formula 1 team will miss the second and final in-season test of 2015 taking place in Austria next week.
The ex-Marussia team’s last-minute rescue deal to race on as Manor means it is playing catch-up after a delayed start to the season.
As a result, Manor’s development programme is behind its rivals and it does not feel there is anything to gain from the two-day test at the Red Bull Ring, which starts on Tuesday, based on its current situation.
Manor, which is running a modified 2014-spec car this season, also missed the first in-season test at Barcelona. In an interview with the media this afternoon, Manor’s Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon believes that the test will not benefit the team at this present time. Lowdon stated the following:-
‘It’s the wrong test at the wrong time in the wrong place for us. Our development focus at the moment is in a different place. We’re out of sync with the other teams after the way our season started and what our objectives are at the moment. We can’t gain the same as other teams would be gaining so the value of doing it is not there.’
You can understand why Lowdon feels that Manor not taking part in the test in Austria next week will not help them in terms of where they are at with the car and also with the team at this present moment. As he rightly points out, they are in the position to benefit from running in the session and also they are not in a position to catch up to their rivals as well.
Even though it is sad that Manor will not be at the test next week, I feel that its the best decision for Manor at the moment and they need to concentrate on building the team and the car up as best as possible after exiting administration earlier this year. Once they have done this, maybe we will see them running in the tests; but I fear that this may not be until next season after they have built up the foundations of the team more fully and also have the car that will benefit from running in the event too.