Manor sporting director Graeme Lowdon says he is “optimistic” about the potential of the team’s new car, which is set to debut next season.
Having had to modify its 2014 car to comply with the current regulations, Manor originally planned on launching an updated car during this season in order to also take advantage of the new Ferrari power unit. However, with McLaren in ninth place in the constructors’ championship on 17 points, Manor has little chance of improving on tenth this season even with a new chassis.
Lowdon admits to F1i the new car is likely to be delayed until 2016 as a result, but he says the progress made with it so far is encouraging for the team.
“We’ve said before there’s a lot of people involved in that discussion but I think it’s tending much more towards [next season],” Lowdon said. “What’s good is the next car, the development program is looking good, the wind tunnel is progressing well and we didn’t know where all that would be even just a few months ago. I think we have grounds to be optimistic about the future from that point of view.
“Also the way results are going would tend to suggest that. If there were three or four teams on zero points or whatever then you would factor things in very differently. But we have to look at it with lots of different aspects and work out the optimum. But the optimum certainly would seem to be pushing a launch date further and further back, if not back in to 2016.
“Because the regulations are so much the same, the period when we stop racing this year and start testing next year you just view as one progression path and at some stage you make a car. It certainly suggests that there’s more to be gained by pushing that back a little bit at the minute, but we’ll see.”