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F1 2016 Team Preview: Manor Racing

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After surviving a financial collapse at the end of 2014, simply getting on the grid was a major achievement for Manor last year. However, 2016 is the start of a new era for the team with new management, a new power unit and even a slightly new name. Will there be new hope as well?

TEAM: Manor Racing MRT
ENGINE: Mercedes
CAR: Manor MRT05

2015 STATS (as Manor Marussia)

Races: 18
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 0
Laps Led: 0
Drivers’ Championship Positions: 19th (Roberto Merhi); 20th (Alexander Rossi); 21st (Will Stevens)
Constructors’ Championship Position: 10th

2016 LINE-UP

88. Rio Haryanto (INA)
94. Pascal Wehrlein (GER)

2015 TEAM RECAP

2015 was about Manor surviving. Remarkably, the team pulled through a torrid winter that saw it come within inches of extinction to get back on the grid. Although points were never really on the cards, Manor had a few highlights across the course of the season, with Roberto Merhi and American driver Alexander Rossi both finishing as high as P12. A real year of resolve.

2016 OUTLOOK

Gone are team saviours John Booth and Graeme Lowdon; gone is Ferrari as a power unit supplier. In comes ex-McLaren man Dave Ryan and a new technical partnership with Mercedes. Manor has a huge chance to cut the gap to the midfield this year. DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein joins the team alongside GP2 race winner Rio Haryanto, and both will be hungry to deliver in their rookie seasons. Could this be a new dawn for Manor?

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).