Ryan: Manor is 'in the mix now'

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Dave Ryan says F1 minnows Manor are “in the mix now” and heads to the Chinese Grand Prix encouraged by the team’s “potential for improvement”.

The small British outfit is coming off a strong showing in Bahrain where Pascal Werhlein finished a promising 13th after outqualifying both Renaults and Saubers. Ryan is pleased to see his team finally shed its label as the grid’s perennial backmarkers.

“I think what’s most encouraging for us is how much potential for improvement there is,” the Manor racing director said. “Bahrain showed just how far we’d come in the space of only one race and the signs are really encouraging.

“Both drivers are doing a fantastic job and we’re starting to work really well together as a team unit. We’re in the mix now, so the challenge is to keep building on that because nothing stands still for very long in Formula One - especially the competition.”

Manor’s switch to Mercedes power seems to have already paid dividends, as highlighted by Renault’s Kevin Magnussen calling the MRT05 “a rocket” in Sakhir.

With Shanghai International Circuit featuring one of the longest straights on the F1 calendar, Ryan is confident of another solid performance, though the ex-McLaren man warns that Manor needs to keep an eye on tyre wear.

“This is quite a demanding track, due to the heavy braking after the long straights and also tyre management. We’ve suffered a bit with tyre wear in the past two races and it’s an area we’re spending a lot of time thinking about. If we can get on top of it a little more we’ll be much better placed all round. Power-wise, it should suit us.”

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