Read too quickly and you may believe this is a story about Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn, however Finnish publication – Ilta-Sanomat – is reporting Manor F1 are set to recruit more than two F1 race drivers for 2016.
Mercedes have secured one of the seats already for their young driver Pascal Wehrlein in a deal that sees Manor being offered wind tunnel time from Brackley.
This leaves, Indonesian government-backed Rio Haryanto, American Alexander Rossi and Brit Will Stevens who have all been under consideration for a 2016 drive by the Manor team. Each of these drivers brings substantial sponsorship money and the rumour is that the second car may well be raced by all three drivers during the year.
This may sound a strange arrangement but Article 26.1 of the FIA F1 sporting regulations states, “During a season, each team will be permitted to use four drivers. Any new driver may score points in the championship.”
The deal under consideration apparently provides for each of the three drivers to take 7 races each during the 21 race long season. Haryanto would drive in Asia, Stevens in Europe and Rossi for the races in the Americas plus three others.
As a contrast to the three drivers under consideration, Pascal Wehrlein admitted when announced last week, “I don’t bring any money.”
Gene Haas may believe his new team will be the surprise of the season given the backing he has received from Ferrari, however if Toto Wolff is to be believed Manor may be springing a few surprises of their own in 2016. “Manor will make a big step up and not only because of the engine. I have confidence that the car and driver will have highlights and be a solid midfield runner,” said the Mercedes team boss.
Besides their Mercedes power unit, Manor have agreed to receive a substantial level of technical support from Williams.
One wonders how may power units per driver would be permitted under such an arrangement. Cant see the sponsors of the three drivers being cery happy if they thought they were negotiating for a full season for say £5m. Only getting 7 races for the same money seems a rough deal to me.
From what I have seen prior the asking price for a whole season was 15 million.
No wonder that KM did not go to Manor then – he could not afford them! I doubt if Stevens paid more than £5m last year so that is 200% inflation if this three-in-a-bed pans out!
PU will be per car wont it? ISTR last year that when Alonso was subbed in Australia the blown engine that KMag had counted against ALO total didn’t it? Although I kindof lost count of how many engine bits McHonda got through…..
The investors in the team should invest a bit more in the team if they believe in it long term instead of relying on 4 drivers bringing in money, but that is the thing with this team, it has always ever been for quick investment for a few and no real long term commitment. Even with a Mercedes engine they will finish last
I do believe they will make a big step forwards, though the car will be better, still you need proper drivers to handle it,
” Pascal Wehrlein admitted when announced last week, “I don’t bring any money.””
A big sarcastic ‘right’! He may not come with a deposit to Manor’s bank account, but he does bring wind tunnel time and I would guess a bit of a deal on PU components as well.
I think this is actually quite a good idea. Think about it, they have multiple drivers all willing to stump up some money but not really enough to balance Manors books. So charge each of them $5mill for a third of the season. Team have more off track work to do re seats, controls, setup, simulator etc but the Team spread their risk in getting points. They also get to test who does best without being stuck with a driver who doesn’t improve. They also get extra 2 lots of good publicity when they change drivers. They also get more options for sponsors with more work but I can see the outside the box thinking.
Could be interesting.
I agree. … ‘More work for the team…’ … don’t forget the signage on the car – Driver numbers and sponsors, the Mechanics/Engineers/Strategists all get a workout. Good platform for a Mercedes ‘B’ team. Acquire good young talent and put them on the F1 fast forward program at the sponsors’ expense.
I really can’t help feeling this is the new Mercedes B team and you may well find that they have supplied some R&D talent in the background too. They are growing as a team and are going to deliver a few surprises.