February 16, 2016 @ 05:57 PM

Discussion: Manor Racing F1’s new additions

Can we expect massive improvements from the Manor F1 team?

Manor F1 is probably the most underrated team in the 2015 Formula 1 season. The team barely made it onto screens of F1 watchers world-wide, but the team’s drivers, Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens, have finished more races then Pastor Maldonaldo and Fernando Alonso even though the team had had to sit out of the Australian GP.

Roberto Merhi had been considered somewhat of a hero in his first race at the 2015 Malaysia GP. He was three laps off winner Sebastian Vettel but while both McLarens retired from the race along with Pastor Maldonaldo’s Lotus, Merhi had weathered through the hot weather and drama and finished the team’s debut race.

You can say that through 2015, Manor Marussia had been the unsung heroes of the paddock. What with Caterham dropping out of the sport and Scuderia Toro Rosso elevating themselves into the mid-grid contenders, Marussia had had a very lonely season indeed with the only action they witnessed being when the leaders lapped them. That saying that meant that the team was not given the chance to show their capabilities in 2015 at all with no one to contend with.

(Image source: insidelinemedia.co.uk)

But in 2016, the team has announced a number of role changes with the biggest being the addition of Pat Fry as Engineering Consultant. Pat Fry is no small name in the F1 paddock having been involved in the sport since 1987 with Benetton Formula One where he used to be current F1 pundit Martin Brundle’s race engineer.

Fry’s name became a household name during his long stint in McLaren from 1993 to 2010. There he took up the role as Mika Hakkinen’s race engineer in 1995 and later signed on to play David Coulthard’s race engineer before being promoted to the role as Chief Engineer of Race Development and was responsible for the cars that almost brought a young Kimi Raikkonen a championship.

In 2010, Fry moved on to Ferrari as Assistant Technical Director but was quickly promoted to Head of Race Track Engineering. He took on numerous roles in Ferrari all reporting directly to Team Principle Stefano Dominicalli before leaving the team in 2014 following a massive restructuring bout within the team.

(Image source: Manor Racing F1 Facebook)

Now in 2016, Fry is to bring his 29 years of the sport to the team to guide young Pascal Wehrlein in his Formula 1 debut. Considered a legend in the realms of DTM, Pascal Wehrlein comes to the team with a DTM championship under his helmet and what experience he has accumulated as Mercedes-Benz Junior driver.

With two big names coming to the team, will we get to see Manor F1 racing in the mid-field ranks for the first time since they debuted? This Content Producer is expecting great things from the team with the addition of these two big names but what about you? Do you expect the team to do much better than they did last year and actually fighting for points? Or will they keep the new team HAAS company like the previous years?

Jerrica Leong

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