Manor started work on 2017 Formula 1 car in January

Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick says his Formula 1 team started work on its 2017 car in January and believes the regulation changes provide an opportunity to move up the grid

Manor started work on 2017 Formula 1 car in January

Manor completed 2015 with a modified '14-spec car, after Fitzpatrick's late purchase to secure its future, but started this season with a new car.

Manor's plan to become F1's star underdog

The team has made great strides with Pascal Wehrlein scoring a point in Austria to move Manor ahead of Sauber into 10th in F1's constructors' championship.

But Fitzpatrick believes a bigger step can be made next year with technical overhaul, which is why resources were diverted early.

"We set out with a five-year plan last year and it was to make up one place a year," Fitzpatrick told Autosport.

"So far we are on target - we have one team behind us.

"The first year of the plan was to assemble a team of people with a lot of experience that can help us efficiently develop the car and get the best out of it on track.

"Next year gives us a big opportunity to accelerate the one-place-a-year plan, because with the big changes in the regulations - we've been working on the 2017 car going back to January - we've invested a lot of the time of the senior guys that have joined into that project.

"When we started out this year, we were racing almost a completely new car, whereas everybody else is on their third year of an evolution.

"Next year it's a bit of a restart for everyone so it gives us a great chance to leapfrog a couple of places, if we apply ourselves properly."

Fitzpatrick said his ambition is for Manor to be the "top independent team" and used Force India's rise as an example of what can be achieved.

"They've done a fantastic job," he said. "It's a great model. They have great performance relative to their budget.

"They keep making a step every year - it shows that it can be done, and that's what we have to aspire to."

MANOR TARGETING CFD GAINS

While Fitzpatrick conceded it will be tough for Manor to fight the bigger teams on budget, he has identified software and data science as areas in which Manor can lead the way.

With that in mind, Manor has recruited Dr Alfonso Ferrandez, formerly software development manager at Amazon, as its chief technology officer.

"In terms of getting value for money, where we can outperform, that [data and technology] is an area where I see that we can have a big performance advantage, or at the very least a level playing field," said Fitzpatrick.

"When I think about one of the things that we need to be the best in the world at, or at least as good as the best in the world, it's got to be in CFD and data."

shares
comments
Daniil Kvyat: Pressure after Red Bull F1 demotion 'over the edge'

Previous article

Daniil Kvyat: Pressure after Red Bull F1 demotion 'over the edge'

Next article

Who is sweating on an F1 2017 drive?

Who is sweating on an F1 2017 drive?
Load comments
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Plus

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021