If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard the news yet, Manor Racing will not be taking part in the FORMULA 1 World Championship this season. This is after Sauber’s Felipe Nasr scored two points in Brazil, putting Sauber ahead of Manor in the Constructor’s Championship and rendering Pascal Wehrlein’s drive to 10th place in Austria essentially useless.
So after taking a bit of time to think about it, I have put together a few reasons why I will miss the popular minnows in 2017, as the World Championship moves on without them.
1. The young drivers they employ.
Yes, they have had their fair share of paydrivers.
However,for every Rio Haryanto and Will Stevens that took to the cockpit of a Manor, there was more often than not a rising star with buckets of talent in the other car, specifically the late Jules Bianchi, as well as Mercedes young drivers Pascal Wehrlein and (briefly, when Haryanto was dropped) Esteban Ocon.
2. A livery that wasn’t boring and stood out.
In amongst all the black and grey cars of modern Formula 1, there are few cars which actually stand out. Obviously, everyone has an opinion, and while some people may think that the MRT05 was hideous, others loved it. Personally, I liked the blue and red combination because it stood out from the crowd. It wasn’t exactly the best looking F1 car in history, but it stood out, and provided good memories too.
3. The spirit of the team.
Don’t try to deny it, you always had a soft spot for Manor.
The small team from Banbury were never a rich team, nor did they even have the money to compete with anyone but the backmarkers. However, they always carried on fighting, even when it seemed like they would go bust without warning, at the drop of a pin. As well as this, one must not forget that the team was rescued at the 11th hour before the 2015 season, after they had missed the last three races of 2014 and seemed unlikely to carry on.
As well as this, they always helped carry on the legacy of Jules Bianchi, and the talent the young Frenchman possessed. After all, it was said by former Team Principal, John Booth, that “without Jules, none of this (continuing to race past the 2014 season) would have been possible.”
They were essentially a 2010’s version of Minardi, another popular backmarker team which ceased racing in 2005, and became Scuderia Toro Rosso…
With this all being said, I’m hoping that one day, a suitable replacement will be able to enter Formula 1 and boost the amount of cars on the grid.