Manor says F1 engine plans "open" amid Honda link

Manor has admitted that it could change Formula 1 engine partner next year, amid recent speculation linking it with Honda.

On the back of Honda's difficulties on its return to F1 with McLaren, the Japanese manufacturer is well aware that its rate of progress could be accelerated if it had a second team for 2016.

An obvious candidate for this would be the Manor outfit, which currently only has a deal with Ferrari until the end of this season.

With Manor currently weighing up its new car plans, and whether or not to hold fire on introducing a definite 2015 car at all this year, one reason to delay the introduction would be to lay the groundwork for a change of engine.

Sporting director Graeme Lowdon said that the engine situation was not fixed, and that the team was evaluating its options for 2016.

"It's open," he told Motorsport.com. "At present we have a really good relationship with Ferrari and they are extremely helpful, but we have got flexibility on where to go from here."

A switch to Mercedes would be unlikely, as it already supplies four teams, but Renault could be open to another deal it is currently only has two partners.

Restructuring a sign of intent

Although Manor's presence on the grid this year was in doubt until the eve of the campaign, it has made progress since then.

As well as ensuring its car can now comfortably qualify, it has boosted its backroom staff with a number of strong signings, including former Mercedes technical director Bob Bell.

Lowdon says that it is all part of a serious long-term vision to move the team up the grid.

"We've got a plan and a strategy for the team and as a business that makes commercial and financial sense – plus in the sporting sense as well," he said.

"We think there's a right size and shape for our sort of business and that's what we are rebuilding towards.

"Hopefully, there will be more milestones to come as we get to the size we want to be."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Manor Racing
Article type Breaking news
Tags honda