Manor Racing hailed the MRT05 as by far the best Formula 1 car it has produced as it unveiled the new, Mercedes-powered this morning at the first pre-season test in Spain.
Manor’s deal to use Mercedes engines and Williams transmission and other components is expected to bring it much closer to competitiveness after six seasons adrift of the midfield pack. F1 rookie Pascal Wehrlein left the garage in the MRT05 just under 90 minutes into the first day of the test.
In a statement to the media this morning, Manor technical director John McQuilliam said the team was confident of a massive step forward in 2016. McQuilliam said the following:-
‘Even at this early stage of the game, we can easily say this is the best car we’ve ever launched. Certainly the most developed, the most ambitious and the most aggressive. The overall package is a very significant step forward, not just from last year, but from any of the cars from our stable.
‘Yes, we have a long way to go from here in terms of developing the MRT05, but it’s already a dream package for the 154 Manor Racing people who’ve worked so hard to design and build it.’
Manor’s new racing director Dave Ryan, who arrived after the exits of founders John Booth and Graeme Lowdon last year, said in his interview with the media this morning that he had been impressed by what he had seen at the team so far. Ryan said the following:-
‘It’s been a very busy time, but it has really served to underline everything I thought when I first agreed to join the team – a great little operation, with huge potential and the vision and ambition to make a big step forward.
‘The team did a laudable job last year given its circumstances over the previous winter. This year, with the package we have, we need to be every inch the professional racing outfit.’