Manor believes it has the resources to climb up the F1 order

Manor racing director Dave Ryan admits the team expected to start 2016 slightly further up the Formula 1 field, but insists it has the resources to leave the back row

Manor believes it has the resources to climb up the F1 order

After securing a Mercedes power unit and Williams transmission, Manor was expected to be challenging the lower midfield order.

On the evidence of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Manor is no longer trailing well behind the pack, but it is clear improvement is still needed.

Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein qualified 21st and 22nd, 4.2 seconds off pole, but Haryanto was within 0.021s of Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez in 20th.

Assessing Manor's position, Ryan told Autosport: "I think it's fair to say we are not quite where we expected to be, but I'll qualify that.

"We were always going to be on the back of the grid [in Australia]. That was the minimum expectation.

"Beyond that, I'd like to think we were capable of being 14th, 16th, which would have been a very respectable position to be, but we weren't.

"At least we're attached to the back of the grid, not detached from it."

Ryan maintains the team has the wherewithal and capability to close that gap.

"We're in a great position, a far better position than we have been in the past," he added.

"There is a big desire to do well and resource available to improve in lots of areas.

"We know the areas where we are weak, we know the areas we need to work on, but you can't go down the shop and buy it.

"You have to either create it in house or invest a lot of time looking for the right solutions. They are not quick fixes, but I recognise them.

"We can see exactly where we need to invest time and money to improve our processes, and we couldn't do that in the past.

"The team has done a fantastic job just to be around given everything that happened.

"Now, we have to improve, we have to earn a right to be here. We know that."

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