Manor Could Be Coming Back to Formula 1
Yet again, money seems to be the hangup for potential F1 newcomers.
Manor, a familiar name in dedicated motorsport circles, exited Formula 1 following the 2016 season. The team's reinvestment in endurance racing has kept its pedigree going, and with a recent decision to join LMP1 with Ginetta, it seems like the British-bred team will continue its interest in the WEC. However, as reports from Finland's Turun Sanumat newspaper tell, Manor could be interested in joining Formula 1 once again if some intended changes are made.
The major concern for any privateer team interested in Formula 1 is cost. This is something that reigns annually as the largest obstacle to becoming a successful competitor against the likes of big-spenders such as Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull. This is something that's been addressed repeatedly by F1 owners Liberty Media, and now, the question stands if the organization will be able to combat these excruciating expenses.
Manor CEO Graeme Lowdon said the following to Turun Sanumat in a recent statement:
"If nothing changes—if there is no cost cap and the costs stay the same—then we cannot go back because it's impossible to race against the big teams. But we have heard from the FIA and Liberty (Media) that work is being done to reduce the cost for private teams.
"In that case, we are interested in returning. Both myself and (former Manor team principal) John Booth have unfinished business in F1."
Manor previously bowed out of the sport after a seven-year stint in Formula 1. Indeed, it was cost that forced the team away in 2017, but that was in a time when Bernie Ecclestone ruled the series. Now, with Liberty at the helm, potential changes like cheaper engines and standardized parts could draw more small teams into contention.