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2016, done! We round out the season with another strong race from our hard-charging rookies, Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein, who bring it home in 13th & 14th positions to beat Sauber one final time this season. Sadly, it was not enough to claw back 10th in the Constructors’ Championship, a position we held for 10 races, then lost in Brazil. But we’re proud of everything we’ve achieved this year, our most competitive season yet.

The Race, 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Sunday 27 November
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

Esteban MRT05-02 P13 1:46.189
Pascal MRT05-01 P14 1:46.145

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, fantastic race today, fighting hard to progress through the field. How was it from where you were sitting?
“Yes, I’m really pleased. It was no secret that I was really frustrated after qualifying yesterday, so I was really fed up to be on the 10th row of the grid. Then I got a really good start and made up three places on the opening lap. I was running as high as 11th during the race and we were looking really good versus the Saubers. I had the pace to get past Nasr but we touched and actually I lost my front wing end plate. I pitted for a second time and was able to catch right up with my team-mate before I eventually got by. Nevertheless, we got both cars home in strong positions to end the season on a strong note. It wasn’t enough to make up for Brazil but I think we can say that we did the best job possible over the past two weeks, so I’m happy.”

Your nine-race stint with Manor Racing comes to an end here. It’s been short but incredibly sweet and we’ll treasure the times we raced together.
“Thank you. Me too! I can’t thank Manor Racing enough for giving me this incredible opportunity to begin my F1 career. It has been a real pleasure and I have learned so much in every area that will be important experience for the rest of my career, so I will always be grateful for that. Although I will be racing elsewhere, I will always be rooting for Manor as the team has so much potential. Maybe one day soon we can have a friendly fight together on-track.”

Pascal Wehrlein:

Really strong fight to the finish?
“Yes, it was really great to end the season with another strong race performance. I had a difficult first pit stop and I was quite far back after that, so it was pretty frustrating after a great qualifying and starting from 16th on the grid. I fought hard to come back from that and we even gained a few places along the way. I was on a different strategy so it wasn’t possible to prevent my teammate from passing me at the end because I was on really old softy tyres, but at least we finished ahead of Sauber one final time. It was a fantastic race to end the season and my thanks to the whole team for the way we have fought together right to the end.”

We’ve had a fantastic season together. Some highs, some lows, but experiences that will make us all stronger for the future.
“Yes, I had a really, really great first season in Formula 1, thanks to everyone at Manor Racing. I guess it makes me sad that we held onto our point for so long but lost 10th in the Championship. It was really unlucky for us but I think we will always remember that day in Austria and celebrating together. My thanks to everyone in the team for all the hard work and pushing so hard so we can make some real progress together.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“Well, it’s hard to believe that the 2016 season is finally over but I think I speak for everyone when I say a few weeks at home without the pressure of preparing for the next race will be very welcome indeed.

“First and foremost, huge congratulations to the entire team both here and back at Banbury for the effort that has gone into this season. It hasn’t been easy but when you look at just how far we’ve come in the space of 12 months, our improvement is incredible and something to be really proud of. Having said that, we know we still have big strides to make, but it’s a challenge we are all looking forward to as we strive to move Manor up the grid in 2017.

“I would also like to express our gratitude to our technical partners, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains and Williams Advanced Engineering, and all our Team Partners, for their fantastic support during our 2016 campaign.

“Finally, special thanks to Pascal and Esteban. Another great race today and no less than we have come to expect from the two of them.”

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Boom! Back in Q2 one final time this season. Pascal brings the tally to 5, after a belting qualifying session at Yas Marina Circuit. Tomorrow, we’ll be throwing everything we have at the 2016 finale.

Qualifying, 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Saturday 26 November
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

Pascal MRT05-01 Q1 P16 1:41.886 8 laps Q2 P16 1:41.995 6 laps
Esteban MRT05-02 Q1 P20 1:42.286 8 laps

Pascal Wehrlein:

Pascal, fifth time in Q2 this season. What a way to round out the last qualifying session of your debut season! Are you as thrilled as your team?
“Ha ha. At least! My fifth time in Q2 this year and that’s a really special way to finish in the last qualifying of the year. In Q2 I only had one set of Ultrasoft tyres so my second run was the limit and it wasn’t possible to improve any more. But I think we have to be happy with P16 and my thanks to the team because together we’ve done a really great job so far this weekend. I like the track but I don’t think it’s our best one, so we’re really pushing hard to end the season in a positive way.”

Eighth row on the grid tomorrow. What can we do from there?
“Well, who knows. We’re in front of Sauber and our pace looks really strong, so you never know what might be possible and what might happen in front of us. I think we should dream big and push for points. Why not? Brazil was a tough day for us, so I would love to put the smile back on everyone’s faces.”

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, obviously unhappy with P20 today. What went wrong?
“Yes, my qualifying was a disaster. Free practice looked positive this morning and we were ahead, but as soon as we put the Ultrasoft on I was standing still and my teammate and everyone else was improving. There was nothing more in terms of pace on that tyre for me. I was losing speed and we have to look at what the problem was because for sure, there was one.”

Season finale tomorrow. What can we expect?
“Well, it’s a great track, which I enjoy, and up until qualifying the signs are all good in terms of our performance. I’m starting at a disadvantage in terms of grid position, but if we can get a good start – and we know we can – then I hope we can recover some places and have a good race.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“The first thing I’d like to say today is what a fantastic job the whole team has done so far this weekend and in the couple of weeks since that very disappointing day in Brazil. We could have been forgiven for letting our heads drop and writing off the season there and then, but instead, we’ve dusted ourselves off and decided to throw everything we have at the finale. Even though it’s only Saturday, I think everyone should be very proud of themselves.

“Which brings me to our drivers: both of them. Pascal did an excellent job to get us into Q2 for the fifth time this season and was clearly enjoying himself out there. His two runs were flawless and everything seemed to go right for him. With Esteban, he had a slightly interrupted FP3 this morning and then, for reasons we need to establish, the Ultrasoft tyre was just not working for him. Nonetheless, we have good pace here - both drivers have demonstrated that – and I’m sure we’ll see a great fight from them tomorrow.”
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Three drivers, two cars, one incredible race track playing host to the 2016 season finale. It’s been a busy but positive last Friday of the season, which is exactly how we saw ourselves starting the weekend here in Abu Dhabi.

Free Practice 1 & 2, 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Friday 25 November
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

Esteban MRT05-02 FP2 P16 1:43.600 35 laps
Pascal MRT05-01 FP1 P19 1:46.458 29 laps / FP2 P17 1:43.754 33 laps
Jordan MRT05-02 FP1 P21 1:47.558 27 laps

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, an abbreviated day for you, sitting out FP1 to make way for Jordan King’s planned session. You seemed to make up for lost time quite quickly though?
“I did, yes. I’m pretty pleased for that. It was a positive day for me, even though a short one. We captured some good data from Jordan during FP1 and that was useful information for me to take on board for FP2. The car has good pace here and it’s feeling nice to drive on this track.”

You know the Yas Marina Circuit of course, from GP3. That helps.
“I do know the track very well and I’m sure that has contributed to getting up to speed in a short space of time. Some tracks you just get to grips with quite quickly and suit your style – this is one of them. I really enjoy it, so bring on the rest of the weekend.”

Pascal Wehrlein:

Pascal, first time at Yas Marina Circuit. That seemed like a very positive initiation.
“Yes, pretty good Friday in terms of what we learned and we tried all the things we wanted to try. A slight disappointment in FP2, as the changes we made between sessions didn’t work. Most important is what we learned from the car and the pace was quite good today in general.”

How do you like it here. Does the track suit you?
“I really enjoy this circuit but it’s certainly a very challenging one. There are too many corners for our car. But I love racing under the lights and the switch from day into night. It’s going to be a great place for the season finale.”

Jordan King:

Jordan, a lot happening in your world this weekend, with your second Formula 1 FP1 outing in the midst of the GP2 season finale. How did it go for you this morning?
“Well, first of all it’s great to be back in the MRT05 for a second time, so thanks to the team for having me back. My programme was quite different to Austin, specifically helping to address some of the problems that Esteban has been experiencing with the car over the past couple of race weekends. It’s the best feeling to drive a Formula 1 car anyway, but even more so when you know that what you’re working on will have a direct impact on the progress the team can make over the race weekend. I learned a lot myself and so did the engineering team. So, I guess today feels even more rewarding, but with no less of a wow factor than Austin. Now I switch back into full GP2 mode for the rest of the weekend but with an even bigger spring in my step than usual after this morning.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“Quite a bit going on today, with Jordan running in FP1 in place of Esteban and then both race drivers back in the car for this afternoon. But all of it was really positive and apart from a few little things we need to work on – normal for a Friday – it feels like we’re in good shape for the season finale, which is how we wanted it to be coming into the weekend.

“Jordan did a really solid job in FP1, as we’ve come to expect of him. It was a step on from the programme he had in Austin, by a combination of both design and necessity. This was a planned session for him, so his run plan reflected work we needed to do to address some issues we’ve had with Esteban’s car and at the same time it provided a useful step up in Jordan’s own progression.

“This afternoon Esteban slotted back in very readily and was up to speed in no time at all, aided I’m sure by his prior experience of the circuit. Pascal too had a very positive opening day and with all three drivers we could see that our pace here is good and the car seems to be performing well at this stage. A promising start, but we’ll keep pushing for more for qualifying and the race.”
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There’s no two ways about it, we left Brazil with a heavy heart last Sunday. But we’re also racers, so we don’t stay down for long. We’ve picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and we’ll come back fighting in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

While there’s little chance of a weather intervention, there is every hope of ending the season on a positive note at least. Lady Luck may have given us a swerve in Brazil, but let’s not forget that we’ve made a major step forward this season and there’s reason to be very proud of our 2016 performance overall.

Development Driver Jordan King returns to the cockpit this weekend for his second planned FP1 session, in tandem with his own season finale in GP2 Series.

2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Marina Circuit
25-26-27 November

Pascal, little point dwelling on Brazil; it is what it is. The question is, what’s in store for the season finale?
“We just have to do our very best and see where that gets us. I think we have to be realistic about what is possible in Abu Dhabi, but that shouldn’t stop us fighting all the way to the finish.”

What will the perfect weekend look like for you?
“Over the last couple of races we have seen what a difference three solid practice sessions makes to our qualifying and race preparation. We have to get everything right, and at the same time, identify every little advantage and opportunity. If that happens, we have shown four times this year that we can make it into Q2, and a better starting position can make a big difference in the race. Brazil happened, so the chance to show more of what we have achieved together this year is what we are targeting.”

Esteban, your ninth and final race of a season that has been fast and furious for you. Also, your final Grand Prix with Manor Racing .
“It’s gone by so quickly but it feels like I have learned such a lot in a very short space of time. I haven’t had a full season’s perspective, but even since Spa I have seen how much the team has grown and how these experiences will strengthen Manor Racing for the future. I don’t want to say too much about beyond Abu Dhabi for now, as this race needs our full focus. Brazil was heart-breaking for many reasons - for me and the team - so let’s keep pushing and bring all the hard work to a positive conclusion.”

Pole position, fastest lap and a podium finish for you here last year in GP3. We’re not expecting you to repeat that performance, but we know you like this track. What can you achieve in your Manor Racing swansong?
“I will forever be grateful to Manor Racing for giving me the opportunity to begin my F1 career, so my objective is to help put a smile on everyone’s faces on Sunday afternoon. Getting both cars to the chequered flag with one last strong performance under our belts is my target. It maybe won’t change the situation in the Constructors’ standings, but it will be a measure of what the team has done well so many times this season.”

Dave, describe the mood at Manor Racing over the past week since Brazil?
“Well clearly we were all very disappointed with the outcome on Sunday evening in Brazil. But, you know what? When you look at it in the cold light of day, I’m really proud of the guys. I thought the team did a fantastic job in the race; we were genuinely running with both cars in the top 10 early on, we had everything covered on the pit wall during all the chaos and the guys did a textbook job of dealing with the red flags. It’s just that, come the final restart, we weren’t quite quick enough and probably needed another two or three laps to pull it off. That’s racing and we’ll have a good go at reversing things in Abu Dhabi.

“We’re also pleased to welcome Jordan back to the cockpit for his second planned FP1 session. He’ll be taking over Esteban’s car on Friday morning and we have a busy programme of testing items lined up for him again.”
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What to say? There are hardly words. We’ve been holding onto that precious Austrian point for 10 races. Then on the 11 th - disaster! Rain brings excitement and opportunity, but it also brings risk. Today, we were all out of luck as the lone Sauber won the day. Our boys Pascal and Esteban performed admirably in ‘the worst race conditions of their careers’ to bring both cars home without incident. We fought the good fight and will do the same in Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time.

The Race, Formula 1 Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2016
Sunday 13 November
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo

Pascal MRT05-01 P12 1:27.796
Esteban MRT05-02 P15 1:27.919

Esteban Ocon:

So, Esteban. A lot to be proud of with the way both you and Pascal handled the treacherous conditions out there today. But obviously not the result any of us were hoping for.
“No, I’m really disappointed and sad for all of us. It was such a difficult race and though I have my own feelings on whether the race should have continued, that doesn’t matter. If the track is declared fit to race on, we have to race and do the best job we can. There were some pretty scary moments out there; I was so lucky to react so quickly to the Kimi incident.”

You were looking on target for your first point in the closing stages of the race. It wouldn’t have changed the situation with Sauber, but we would still have been very pleased for you. What happened there?
“Well obviously I was pushing as hard as I could - throughout the whole race in fact. In the third race stint – after the second red flag – it was clear I just had to push to catch Felipe because the chances of him coming back down the order to a position of safety were diminishing. The race was going his way, not ours. I did what I could but the cars behind me were closing and in the end they just had the pace to get by. There are so many reasons to feel disappointed today that I can’t just single that one out, but, yes, my first F1 point would have been nice.”

Pascal Wehrlein:

Pascal, a whole range of emotions going on in the cockpit today, matched only by those in the garage and the pitwall. Just give us an insight into how things were out there.
“Conditions were terrible – all the way through the race. Even when the rain subsided, the track was holding so much water. It was such a gamble for anyone making the switch from the Extreme Wet tyres to the Inters. The conditions were close at times, but not close enough. I was aquaplaning still and then the risk was that we could be brave, yes, but if we end up in the wall, we’ve gained nothing. Plus, the visibility was quite bad. It was a very nerve-wracking race with conditions I’m not keen to experience again anytime soon.”

What now?
“Well, it’s happened, but we have to keep working hard and pushing. Today showed that anything can still happen, although I’m not expecting any rain in Abu Dhabi. Racing can be unpredictable, so we’ll keep fighting.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“We were pretty apprehensive in Austin and Mexico, with Sauber hovering on the cusp of a point in both races, but we knew coming into this race that Interlagos carried a much greater risk. With conditions like we’ve seen today, it was always going to come down to luck. At one point things had fallen in our favour and we were looking at our first double points finish. Nasr was still ahead on track but we could have achieved more points if things had continued like that. But the race was evolving with every lap, every safety car and both red flags and in the end, things went Sauber’s way, not ours. Esteban put up a great fight to try to pull things back and actually both of our drivers did an incredible job in conditions that really tested even seasoned world champions. We’re down, but not defeated. The whole team is disappointed to say the least, but there is one race remaining and we have to keep pushing all the way to the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.”
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Tricky conditions in São Paulo today, with a damp track ahead of FP3, low ambient temperature and the constant threat of rain. More of that to come in tomorrow’s 71 lap Brazilian Grand Prix, which we’ll be starting with two Saubers sandwiched between Pascal and Esteban. An exciting and eventful race in prospect, which we intend to capitalise on at the same time as keeping our eye firmly on the prize.

Qualifying, Formula 1 Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2016
Saturday 12 November
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo

Pascal MRT05-01 Q1 P19 1:13.427 8 laps
Esteban MRT05-02 Q1 P20 1:13.432 8 laps

Pascal Wehrlein:

Pascal, first of all, good to hear the words “it’s like a different car from yesterday” in FP3.
“Yes, it was a tough day yesterday, so to get in the car today and find it was more or less where we needed it to be was a huge relief, given the job ahead of us for this afternoon. We lost some time and important preparation along the way, but it’s nice to recover from that quite quickly and be in a good position for qualifying.”

And, qualifying? How was that?
“Well, on the one hand, we’re in front of both Saubers, so that’s important and the box ticked for what we needed to achieve today. But there was more to come and that’s a little frustrating. My best lap was on my first set of tyres and with three runs, that should have been two more opportunities to improve. On the second set I made a small mistake, which cost me a couple of tenths. We were only a couple of tenths away from Q2 today, so it’s disappointing that we had to abort the final run, but there was so much traffic in the last corners. Conditions were quite tricky today; could be the same tomorrow also. I’m looking forward to making the most of that.”

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, talk us through your qualifying today.
“I can’t say I’m satisfied with qualifying. We did get ahead of Sauber – both of them – but unfortunately that doesn’t count now because I have to line up behind them. That’s how it is and we will have to hope for a good start and push hard to get ahead of them.”

It’s a tight track here. Those same places that created problems today could also provide some opportunities for tomorrow?
“Yes, that’s true. The track here is awesome and I love it, but it is very small and the last corner is pretty slow, so there was a lot of traffic. The first corner will be interesting tomorrow, so it’s important that we don’t get caught up in any situations and focus instead on using them to our advantage. We have a job to do as a team tomorrow and that is what I’m focused on.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“Generally, an improvement today, getting on top of the problems that challenged us on Friday to give Pascal a more straightforward FP3, ensuring that both drivers were well prepared for qualifying. As we predicted, our one-lap pace was pleasing and we were very close to Q2 again. Collectively, we didn’t make the best of the opportunity to improve on the final run, and though we have one car starting ahead of Sauber, we should have had two. Tomorrow will bring its own challenges and, I’m sure, some opportunities. The conditions today have been tricky and that looks set to be the case for the race, so we go into Sunday with everyone clearly focused on what we need to do to achieve the best result for the team.”
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The opening lap of today’s Mexican Grand Prix dealt a devastating blow to Pascal and the team, in the wake of yesterday’s fantastic Q2 qualifying performance. His race was over almost before it had begun, after he was hit from behind by Esteban Gutierrez. ‘Our’ Esteban drove a doggedly determined race, persevering with a car he’s been unhappy with all weekend, to bring one MRT05 to the chequered flag. “We’ll be back” for Brazil.

The Race, Formula 1 Gran Premio de México 2016
Sunday 30 October
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City

Esteban MRT05-02 P21 1:24.964
Pascal MRT05-01 DNF 0 laps

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, tough race for you, at the end of a challenging weekend.

“Yes, Mexico won’t go down as one of my favourite races of the season so far, which is a shame, because it’s a great track and an amazing Formula 1 venue. Actually today was not as bad as the rest of the weekend by comparison, but we never really did overcome the problems we have experienced with the way my car was handling. In the end, I was just glad we made it to the finish.”

7 races down, 2 to go. How will you approach the remaining races of your debut season?

“I hope the problems of the weekend were specific to this event. With a bit more investigation I’m sure we can understand them a little better and things will be back to normal for Brazil. This was a tense race for the team. There was nothing more I could have done today, especially as 20 other cars finished the race, so we need to make sure that in the next two races we’re in a more stable position and better placed to create or respond to opportunities.”

Pascal Wehrlein:

Pascal, clearly a heart-breaking end to your race today, after such a fantastic weekend, especially that qualifying performance.

“I couldn’t believe it. It was heart-breaking, yes. We had a chance at a really strong race today and for that opportunity to be ripped away before we’d even begun was difficult to take. I got a great start, gained two places and I was up to 14th - then it was over.”

Tell us what happened?

“I was in front and when I turned in, Gutierrez hit me from behind. That’s it. The impact launched me into the air and that pushed me into Marcus Ericsson. My suspension was broken and my race was over. I was on the outside, leaving a lot of space and that is a left and right chicane. I don’t understand why you would risk so much there when it’s such a long race.”

Small comfort, but it’s been an incredible weekend for you, with so many positives?

“Yes, it’s not the end to the weekend we deserved, but there are only good things to say about practice, qualifying and the way the team has performed here. We need to keep working at this level because from where I ended up watching the race, it made for very uncomfortable viewing. We have to do everything possible to secure our championship position and ensure that our result in Austria counts.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“Phew - talk about stress! We had 100 minutes of it on the pit wall this afternoon, starting with Pascal being punted out on the opening lap. Then we had to endure Ericsson’s Sauber hovering just outside the points towards the last quarter of the race, while ahead of him several cars were getting very intimate with each other. There was every possibility of an incident of some sort elevating him into the points, but that’s racing and that’s what we’re here for!

“For Pascal, a very disappointing end to what had been a brilliant weekend and I’m sure that without the incident he would have had a very strong race. Esteban on the other hand has endured a difficult weekend and leading into the race we still hadn’t managed to solve the handling issues he was suffering from. From that starting point he drove a creditable race and I’m absolutely sure we will be back on top of things for the penultimate race in Sao Paulo in two weeks’ time.”
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Pascal delivers a blistering turn of pace as he cruises through to Q2 for the fourth time this season. He’s revelling in the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on his Mexican debut. But there were mixed fortunes in the Manor Racing garage as Esteban continued to battle with the handling of his car here. We’ll put everything we can into turning that around for tomorrow’s 71 lap race.

Qualifying, Formula 1 Gran Premio de México 2016
Saturday 29 October
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City

Pascal MRT05-01 Q1 P16 1:21.363 10 laps | Q2 P16 1:21.785 7 laps
Esteban MRT05-02 Q1 P20 1:21.881 10 laps

Pascal Wehrlein:

Pascal, what a lap! What a weekend! Q2 - how was that?
“Well, first of all I’m really, really happy. Especially for the team; we needed that. My fourth time in Q2 this year and that’s where we want to be. Everyone did a fantastic job all weekend and we’ve improved the car every step. After that, I just drove my heart out.”

You seem to be loving this circuit.
“It’s a really challenging track – always a lot of understeer and oversteer through the lap – but we just seem to have found a way through to get the car right and we’ve exceeded our own expectations here. It could have been even better though; we didn’t have new tyres for Q2, whereas others did, so I wasn’t able to improve my lap.”

We’re really excited for tomorrow; the atmosphere is incredible on race day. What are you hoping for?
“Well, P16 on the grid is great. I need a good start tomorrow, then I will push as hard as I can. We’ll be challenging the guys in front of us and I believe that everything is possible. Bring it on.”

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, you’re clearly disappointed today. Tell us.
“Not a good day for me. I’m really struggling driving the car and I don’t have the confidence in it to push. I’m second fastest in the speed trap, which doesn’t make me feel better because it shows I’m giving the maximum with the car I have but can’t get it working around the rest of the lap. I’ll still take it though, because it’s a positive from an otherwise really frustrating weekend so far. I’m happy for Pascal - it’s great for the team and that’s important.”
What about the race? What can you do?
“Oh, we can still improve for tomorrow, even with minor adjustments, so I have to remain positive for the race as we could still unlock the problem. The start, the strategy - things could turn around yet. I’ll be giving it everything I have.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“It’s a fantastic feeling for the whole team to be back in Q2, so well done to Pascal for a really excellent performance in qualifying today, after what has generally been a very positive weekend for him. He seems very at home on this circuit and his car is working well, which makes it all the more frustrating that we haven’t been able to help Esteban overcome the handling problems with his chassis. That’s something we’ll be working even harder on overnight, to try to help him for tomorrow. If we can address those issues, we can look forward to a promising race and a good fight with our competitors.”
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Plenty of ‘chilly’ served up with today’s Mexican #F1esta. Air temperature was a nippy 12°C for the start of FP1, improving to a slight warmer 16°C by the end of FP2. Some positive signs for the weekend though and our drivers enjoyed their first taste of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

Free Practice 1 & 2, Formula 1 Gran Premio de México 2016
Friday 28 October
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City

Pascal MRT05-01 FP1 P22 1:24.350 28 laps / FP2 P17 1:21.980 42 laps
Esteban MRT05-02 FP1 P20 1:24.083 30 laps / FP2 P21 1:22.298 44 laps

Pascal Wehrlein:

Pascal, nice couple of sessions. What are you thinking after your Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez debut?
“Overall I feel positive about today. In fact, this is the first Friday I’m happy about since quite a long time. It was a fairly normal programme, other than that we started out slightly differently by working with the Soft tyre, before the Medium. Our pace looks good, more or less similar to Sauber, so I’m happy with that. And I like the track. It has a nice fast, flowing rhythm and it’s fun to drive. So, a good start.”

It was a touch cool where we were standing. What implications did that have for the tyres and what other challenges do you expect during the rest of the weekend?
“Yes, it was quite challenging out there! We have been struggling a bit with tyre temperature, which is making our life a little bit more difficult, but we will do our best to improve for tomorrow.”

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, how was it for you?
“Honestly, it has been a difficult start to the weekend for us. We’ve struggled a bit today with how the car is handling. We tried some different things to try to improve, but it was still difficult to drive. We need to have a good look at why and see what we can do to get around that for tomorrow. I really like the track here, it’s very challenging with high speed sections, which is great, but it requires more confidence to get a good lap time.”

Do you have a feel for how things might go for us this weekend? On paper, of course.
“I think to some extent we’ll be starting afresh tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have solved the issues and we’ll be able to squeeze a lot of things into FP3 to get back up to speed and to where we need to be ahead of qualifying.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“We’ve made a reasonably good start to our weekend here. In fact, FP2 was our second best practice session of the season, in terms of our performance relative to the fastest car. It is however only Friday, so we’ll see that for what it is at this stage - an encouraging start. It has been a pretty cold day here, which presented a few challenges with the tyres and grip levels, but nevertheless Pascal had a good couple of sessions and seems quite comfortable. Esteban experienced a few handling issues with his car, which we’ll need to get on top of tonight to give him the best shot at tomorrow.”
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Custom bike and cycling apparel manufacturer WyndyMilla get a taste of F1 as Manor Racing’s Fast Companies Series partner in Mexico

Formula 1 Gran Premio de México 2016
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City
28-29-30 October 2016

Manor Racing has chosen hand-made custom bike and cycling apparel manufacturer WyndyMilla to be its next “Fast Companies Series” partner, at this weekend’s Formula 1 Gran Premio de México 2016.

The race cars of Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon will feature the WyndyMilla branding at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in one of the most vibrant Grand Prix venues, Mexico City.

WyndyMilla is the new kid on the block of custom bicycle building and two wheeled haute couture. Since 2009, the British company has been using fresh ideas to challenge and disrupt the status quo of cycling’s established order, in pursuit of the ultimate service, aesthetic perfection and unrivalled speed.

Its made to measure bikes are designed, painted and built in England’s Surrey Hills, with its technical clothing hand-crafted by artisan designers in Venice, Italy.

WyndyMilla will be providing Manor Racing with bikes for use at races and at the team’s HQ in Banbury, UK. The collaboration includes the design of a range of cycling clothing based on the team’s popular Grands Prix race posters and a cycling fitness program tailor made for Manor Racing team members.

To kick off the partnership in Mexico, WyndyMilla are gifting Pascal and Esteban personalised #94 and #31 bikes and bespoke cycling apparel.

Henry Furniss, Director at WyndyMilla

“Partnering with Manor Racing is a dream come true for WyndyMilla. Together we share the David & Goliath mentality; two bold upstarts using the ‘never say die’ attitude to thrive and learn from each other in the most competitive of environments. Positive mental attitude and community are at heart of everything we do, so harnessing the loyalty of our combined followers is the neatest of fits.”

Simon Pavitt, Marketing Director at Manor Racing

“WyndyMilla shot to fame in the cycling world with its Lusy Koror-designed Mexican Candy Skulls jersey, so it’s fitting that we are giving them the opportunity to show off their bespoke Manor Racing bikes and jerseys with us in Mexico City. This collaboration works at so many levels - from providing the team with bikes to stay fit on tour, to creating a new cycling community among our staff at Manor HQ. We can’t wait to design more F1-inspired cycling apparel in the future, as we see WyndyMilla as an up and coming lifestyle company that can positively impact our team and become a natural extension to the Manor Racing brand.”
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