What Does Manor’s Last Photo Really Show?

Manor Racing’s last photo leaked out of their workshop

There is a lot of interest in this photo around the F1 world. We love it because of all the extra details it tells us about life in F1 and what we can expect from 2017.

A happy and proud team – It’s the first thing we see when we look at the picture. The spread of employees from chief designer down is impressive, highlights how close the team at Manor were. They knew from a long way out, that 2017 was a long shot. Losing 10th in the last race of the season cost a major part of their budget. But there had been bigger issues at stake for years. The credit for all of Manor and Marussia’s successes over the years lies firmly at the feet of their employees. These were happy, racing people

They had designed a brand new ’17 spec car – The latest round of pitlane rumors had Manor asking to run their ’16 car with a few upgrades to make it legal. This is not that. The differences in the two designs are both stark and really encouraging. The fact that this photo is from the Mercedes windtunnel is even more encouraging. Or at least would have been if they could have found a buyer.

The first look at 2017 spec cars – Thank you Manor for this photo, simply because it is our first look at what the new elements could look like. This was a real racing team interpreting the new rules. We know Manor always had slightly less downforce than everyone else, but it’s still a real front wing.

The new front wing – Look at those cascades. Just look at them. If this is what an under-funded team can produce, just imagine what Red Bull will have come up with. It’s an aggressive solution to moving the air flow around the now larger front tyre. But we love this look and it reminds us of the Mclaren MP4-22, with the end of season wing additions.

The nose – Yes, it’s been the subject of almost constant ridicule since the stepped nose and the vanity plate. But the Manor’s interpretation of the new regs, seem to make this an acceptable approach. Look at it, it just doesn’t look ugly any more, but maybe that’s just us getting used to it.

Rear wing – We saw a new rear wing on the Ferrari recently when they did some testing for Pirrelli, but you never really know with Ferrari. Here though is the new rear wing look. Not only has it been widened, but also lowered. It’s a really sleek look, which we love.

If you want to see the new rules and regs, McLaren did a great post about it here. Just makes it all seem very easy to understand.

Different working conditions – We know that the days of Ron walking through the MTC and going mental over a drop of oil in an engineering bay are over. But could you imagine him allowing the employees to just throw on a DC hoodie for a picture. Nope and we think it’s brilliant. You work in a creative environment, be creative and not stifled by a shirt and collar. We hope there were no formalised dress rules at Manor.

Sad to see you go – It’s over and we’re happy because it happened. Thank you Manor and thank you Marussia. You brightened up some drab weekends.


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