Fry: Manor F1 growing in a ‘sensible, controlled way’

© Getty Images

Manor Racing engineering consultant Pat Fry believes that the Formula 1 team is growing in a “sensible, controlled way” as it continues to move up the grid.

After narrowly avoiding liquidation at the end of 2014, Manor has gone from strength-to-strength under new owner Stephen Fitzpatrick, securing a power unit supply from Mercedes and scoring just the second top-10 finish in its history in Austria last month.

Ex-Ferrari and McLaren man Fry joined Manor as part of its drive to strengthen its management, which included the arrival of former McLaren team manager Dave Ryan and Renault chief operating officer Thomas Mayer.

Speaking over the German Grand Prix weekend, Fry explained how Manor is taking small yet significant steps in its bid to move up the grid.

“It’s quite a large charge from surviving through to competing and that affects the whole organization, all the way from what we are doing at the factory, from the wind tunnel to the design office, all the reliability side of things, all the way through to the track really,” Fry explained.

“It has knock-on necessities where we need to improve absolutely everywhere through the organization.

“There’s a plan for us to grow in a sensible, controlled way but we need to address all those areas, everything from pit stop speed, which we were – to put it a polite way – it was challenging at the beginning of the year, with the same guys and modifying everything. It’s all the detail work that you need to do and it just takes time.

“The same thing with putting the processes in place so that you can keep a reliable car reliable. There’s a huge task but everyone’s interested.

“We’re still quite small at the moment. We’re growing quite quickly but we’re still only 170 people or something of that order and our next competitor is the thick end of 500 people.

“There’s a lot to do and we just have to have a sensible plan to grow the organisation to compete sensibly.”

Manor currently sits 10th in the F1 constructors’ championship ahead of Sauber, its point in Austria coming courtesy of Pascal Wehrlein.

Wehrlein could be set to receive a new teammate for the remainder of the season as Rio Haryanto’s management continues to seek further funding to keep him in a seat.

Should Haryanto be unable to continue with Manor from the Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes youngster Esteban Ocon is expected to take the seat for the remainder of the season.

Indianapolis 500 winner and Manor reserve driver Alexander Rossi revealed in an interview with Autosport that he was offered the seat for the rest of the year, but turned it down so he could focus on his IndyCar commitments with Andretti/Bryan Herta Autosport.