Wolff tips Manor for F1 midfield surge

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Toto Wolff believes F1 minnows Manor Racing can become a ‘solid midfield runner’, and this not only because it has switched to Mercedes power ahead of the 2016 season.

The small British outfit has been touring at the back of the field since it entered the sport as Virgin Racing in 2010, and only has two points to its name courtesy of the late Jules Bianchi’s ninth-place finish at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix.

Manor underwent a major management overhaul last year, with long-standing team principal John Booth and sporting director Graeme Lowdon both resigning while former McLaren man Dave Ryan was appointed as racing director.

Since then, the Banbury-based team has added ex-Ferrari men Pat Fry and Nikolas Tombazis to their organisation chart and confirmed reigning DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein as its first driver.

“Manor will make a big step up and not only because of the engine,” said Wolff in Mercedes’ latest YouTube video.

“There is a good bunch of people coming together: impressive individuals, with the right budget and right attitude, and Pascal in the car.

“I have confidence that the car and driver will have highlights and be a solid midfield runner.”

Manor has yet to announce its second driver, with the most likely options ranging from last year’s pilots Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi to multiple GP2 Series race winner Rio Haryanto.

Fighting over one last seat - the drivers in the frame at Manor

Testing a livery

Key dates for the 2016 F1 season

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