Manor worried by Sauber ‘hovering’ around points

© XPB 

Dave Ryan admits Manor spent the entire Mexican Grand Prix worried that Sauber might score vital points in the fight for 10th place in the Constructors’ standings.

Despite tangling with Pascal Wehrlein at the start, which led to the German’s retirement, Marcus Ericsson finished 11th in Mexico.

With Manor only holding a one-point advantage over the scoreless Sauber outfit before the race, Ryan described his team’s afternoon at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as nail-biting.

“Phew - talk about stress!” the racing director said. “We had 100 minutes of it on the pit wall this afternoon, starting with Pascal being punted out on the opening lap.

“Then we had to endure Ericsson’s Sauber hovering just outside the points towards the last quarter of the race, while ahead of him several cars were getting very intimate with each other.

“There was every possibility of an incident of some sort elevating him into the points, but that’s racing and that’s what we’re here for!”

Prior to his race-ending contact at the first corner, Wehrlein had enjoyed a strong qualifying performance to line up 16th on the grid.

His team-mate Esteban Ocon, for his part, never found his groove around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, complaining of handling issues and ultimately finishing last and two laps down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.

“For Pascal, a very disappointing end to what had been a brilliant weekend and I’m sure that without the incident he would have had a very strong race,” Ryan added.

“Esteban on the other hand has endured a difficult weekend and leading into the race we still hadn’t managed to solve the handling issues he was suffering from.

“From that starting point he drove a creditable race and I’m absolutely sure we will be back on top of things for the penultimate race in Sao Paulo in two weeks’ time.”

2016 Mexican Grand Prix - Driver ratings

REPORT: Hamilton keeps title hopes alive with Mexico win

Breakfast with Stefan Johansson 15 minutes with ... Nico Rosberg

Silbermann says ... Masked in Mexico

2017 driver line-ups so far