Manor’s 8 Best Moments In Formula 1 - WTF1
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Manor’s 8 Best Moments In Formula 1

Manor Racing started life back in 2010 as Virgin Racing, one of three new teams to the F1 grid.

Over the years, it has gone through various name and ownership changes, from Virgin to Marussia and then – after going into administration, and surviving – Manor.

But, having gone into administration and failed to find a buyer, it looks like the end of the road for Manor…

So, we thought we’d remember the positive results and moments from the team’s history. Let’s take a look back at them:

Undoubtedly the high point of Virgin/Marussia/Manor’s time in F1 was the late Jules Bianchi’s ninth place finish at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix, after a stunning drive from 19th on the grid. It featured one of the overtakes of the season – his move on Kamui Kobayashi at La Rascasse.

It proved to be a race of high attrition, with only 14 cars making it to the finish. But, nevertheless, Bianchi battled through the pack with aggression and put in a beautiful performance. It was a well-deserved first points in F1 for the team.

The only other time the team scored a point was Pascal Wehrlein’s wonderful drive to 10th place at the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix. The long straights of the Red Bull Ring suited the Manor car and Wehrlein put in an epic qualifying performance (more on that later).

Sure, he enjoyed a bit of good luck, but it was still a mature and impressive drive, with Wehrlein finishing ahead of Haas, Renault and Sauber cars. Things were looking up for Manor at the time, as it moved into 10th in the constructors’ standings, but sadly it lost the position in Brazil later in the season.

The team’s maiden Q2 appearance was incredibly special, in the fact that both cars made it to the second segment of qualifying at the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix.

Marussia gambled on putting both drivers out on slick tyres at the end of Q1 and the track dried out quicker than expected, putting both Bianchi and Max Chilton through to Q2. They qualified 15th and 16th for the race, a great achievement for the backmarker team.

The 2016 Austrian GP qualifying session proved to be an important moment for Manor, with the team equalling its best-ever grid position. Wehrlein’s hot lap was good enough for 12th, a measured and impressive performance from the German youngster in his rookie season.

After Bianchi’s tragic crash in Japan and Marussia falling into administration at the end of 2014, it was a tough way to conclude the season for the team. But, despite a difficult winter, Manor Marussia managed to bounce back with a new owner and chairman.

It raced with a revised car from the previous year and got off to a difficult start, but the way Manor recovered from a troubling time and got back on the track was admirable and incredibly inspiring.

A huge reason why Manor turned its fortunes around and latched onto the back of the midfield pack in 2016 was because of its switch from year-old Ferrari power units to Mercedes engines. The step up in power and performance made a huge difference to Manor and showed a lot of promise.

Despite Wehrlein’s 12th in Austria, the team’s best qualifying performance remains getting both cars to Q2 at the 2014 British GP. Sporadic rain showers caught out top teams like Williams and Ferrari, giving Marussia a brilliant shot at Q2. Bianchi and Chilton made the most of it and made it through to the second segment, qualifying 12th and 13th respectively.

The team concluded the 2016 season with its fifth Q2 result, after Wehrlein made it through and qualified 16th. Considering Manor’s performance tailed off towards the end of the year, probably due to a lack of updates compared to the rest of the grid, it was an impressive performance and a strong end to the season.

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