New Manor Racing F1 car hits the track in Barcelona

© Manor Racing

Manor Racing’s new Formula 1 car, the MRT05, has hit the track for the very first time in Barcelona on Monday at the start of pre-season testing.

Manor has undergone a number of changes over the winter, signing two new drivers for the 2016 season and welcoming new management personnel, as well as signing a technical agreement with Mercedes.

The MRT05 broke cover for the first time around 90 minutes into the first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, sporting a new powder red and blue livery.

Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein is completing the first running in the car for Manor, which technical director John McQuilliam called a “dream package”.

“Even at this early stage of the game, we can easily say this is the best car we’ve ever launched,” McQuilliam asserted.

“Certainly the most developed, the most ambitious and the most aggressive. The overall package is a very significant step forward, not just from last year, but from any of the cars from our stable.

“So yes, we have a long way to go from here in terms of developing the MRT05, but it’s already a dream package for the 154 Manor Racing people who’ve worked so hard to design and build it. In a small team like ours, every single individual has played their part.”

After experiencing something of an interim year in 2015 when financial problems made getting on the grid at all a major achievement, McQuilliam is pleased that Manor was able to produce an all-new car for the coming season.

“It’s all new, as it should be of course, but we had to ‘make do’ last year and that’s not what we’re here for,” McQuilliam said. “We build fast race cars for a living and it’s great to get back to doing what we love. We’re also pretty good at it, when we have the right tools for the job.

“So that in itself is quite special. Better still, the MRT05 is a contender. We really believe that. The design team have focused almost exclusively on it since the middle of last season and it’s just a whole different ball game to any of its predecessors.

“We haven’t left any performance on the table and right now I can say there’s not a single part of the car we’d have designed differently.”