The European stage of the F1 season is now over and we imagine that the team will soon leave for the fly away races with mixed emotions.
They will be pleased that they have managed to out-score Sauber in this stage of the season thanks to Pascal Wehrleins 10th place finish in Austria. However, now that Saubers financial difficulties seem to be over, they will perhaps be disappointed that the lead is not a few more points and are not out of reach of the Swiss team.
The results in Spa and Monza are undoubtedly the low points of the season. Mainly because it could be argued the car was designed in mind to maximize points at those tracks. The car was comfortably good enough to get into Q.2 at both races in the hands of Pascal Wehrlein and a point’s finish was a high possibility if he had finished either race. A second point’s finish of the season would have almost certainly put Manor out of reach of Sauber in the Constructors Championship.
Sauber, now free of their long term financial issue, have also began recruiting once again, adding a new head of aerodynamics in Hennel de Beaupreau as it fights to score a point to retake 10th place from Manor. With the possible loss of millions of dollars of revenue at stake, the new backers have decided in order to make money they need to spend a little money.
Renault too are also having a particularly poor season. A drop in form was expected for 2016 but not to this extent. Given how strong the MRT05 was at Spa and Monza the team could have genuinely challenged Renault in the Constructors Championship this season if they had scored points at Spa and Monza.
Team Enstone are still within striking distance for Manor but it now looks like the team will have to settle for 10th position at best this season. Renault are due to bring upgrades to their engine from Singapore onwards which should see a sizeable improvement on their on track performance as they look to build for 2017.
Below, courtesy of Autosport is a table of the estimated 2016 pay outs for the F1 teams. For 2017, due to emergence of Haas F1, teams such as Renault, Sauber and Manor are at risk of losing their column 2 payment for next season. Sauber having finished 11th in 2014 are at risk of losing their column 1 payment all together. The difference between 10th and 11th this season might have a significant impact on both team’s respective short and medium term futures.
Instead, the team must prepare for the last seven races of the year and hope it hangs on. The immediate danger is not only Sauber improving but heading into a part of the season where freak weather tends to provide freak race results.
Singapore will be one of the tracks that the MRT05 will be least suited to and itis a race that is known for its many safely car periods and high attrition. We believe this is the race the team are required to finish ahead of Sauber more than any race between now and the end of the season.
After Singapore that we have Malaysia, Japan and Brazil could which could all be a potential banana skin. All three races are known for crazy races due to chaotic weather conditions. We won’t forget the heartache caused by Vitaly Petrov’s 11th place in Brazil back in 2012 which robbed us of our first ever top 10 finish.
The US GP, Mexico and Abu Dhabi are relatively new tracks but tracks that should hopefully be dry races on tracks that suit the MRT05 better than the Sauber.
Finishing 10th this season would be a magnificent achievement for the team considering just how far off the pace they were last season. A successful season is within their grasps. Let’s just hope they can hold on.