Mercedes poised to power Manor in 2016

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Toto Wolff has confirmed that Mercedes is close to agreeing a deal with Manor over a power unit supply for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Manor currently races with 2014-spec Ferrari engines after emerging from the ashes of the Marussia F1 Team that collapsed at the end of last season.

However, it is close to agreeing a deal with Mercedes that will see the German marque retain its set of three customer contracts in F1. Renault’s impending takeover of Lotus is set to bring Mercedes’ association with the Enstone-based team to an end after just one season.

Speaking on Saturday at Suzuka, Wolff praised the Manor project, and said that Mercedes would be open to supplying the team with engines once its parting with Lotus has been confirmed.

“We like Manor a lot because there is a competitive edge to the whole story,” Wolff said. “If Manor gets the right chassis and the right engine it would be a pretty interesting narrative about how the team develops.

“For us at the moment we are a little bit on standby because we need to understand what happens at Lotus as one of our customers and move from there. Manor needs to know what is happening and we need to know to whom we are supplying engines.”

Wolff’s comments were backed up by the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, who told Sky Sports that after being approached by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and advisor Helmut Marko about an engine supply, a breakdown in talks with owner Dietrich Mateschitz paved the way for the Manor deal.

“Christian and Helmut wrote us one letter to say they would like engines,” Lauda explained. “I said ‘yes, but first we have to discuss with Mr Mateschitz’.

“Because Mateschitz, for whatever reason, never liked Mercedes There is something in the past which I do not know.

“So I went to see Mateschitz myself because I know him and asked ‘are you really interested?’ and he said ‘yes, but, but, but…’ – and then out of this ‘but, but, but’ we never continued any talks.

“So we had to take a decision as Mercedes. Where did we go with the engines because are Lotus staying or are they not staying? So we then decided to give Manor the engines.”

2016 F1 season – Possible Engine Contracts

Ferrari – 5 (Ferrari, Red Bull*, Toro Rosso*, Sauber, Haas)
Mercedes – 4 (Mercedes AMG Petronas, Williams, Force India, Manor*)
Honda – 1 (McLaren)
Renault – 1 (Lotus*)

* to be confirmed

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.