Ryan: Manor proved it belongs in F1 in 2016

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Manor racing director Dave Ryan says the team proved it belongs in Formula One during the 2016 season.

Having gone into administration under its previous guise of Marussia at the end of 2014, Manor was saved ahead of the following season and ran a modified 2014 chassis along with a year-old Ferrari power unit for the year. This season, a switch to Mercedes power and a new car saw the team close up to the back of the midfield and reach Q2 on five occasions, with Pascal Wehrlein scoring a point in Austria.

Although the team finished bottom of the constructors' standings, Ryan says Manor has shown it is worthy of a place on the grid.

"Let's be frank, we needed to make a big performance improvement but we did," Ryan told Autosport. "We still have to make the same sort of step again but the goal was that we wanted to earn the respect of the pitlane and we have done.

"There have been several times this year where we really deserved to be in Q2 on pure performance and we've ticked that box five times - but not enough.

"We belong here, that's for sure, and if we can keep building the team then there's no reason to expect that we won't keep improving."

Manor currently has no drivers confirmed for 2017, with Esteban Ocon moving to Force India and Wehrlein waiting to see if he will get the Mercedes seat left vacant by Nico Rosberg's retirement.

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