Report links Manor with Honda switch (Update)

UPDATE

Would Manor really switch from Ferrari to Honda power?

(GMM) McLaren and Honda have played down speculation linking Manor with a supply of Japanese power for 2016.

Honda, returning to F1 this year, decided to focus exclusively on McLaren, but boss Yasuhisa Arai has said repeatedly he is open to adding a customer in the future.

Reports have linked backmarker Manor with such a move.

Currently, the team is powered by year-old Ferrari engines in the wake of the Marussia collapse and resurrection.

But Manor appears to have now stopped treading water, hiring the highly experienced Bob Bell as advisor and said to be focusing its efforts on an all-new car for 2016.

"You're right," said president Graeme Lowdon recently, "we're in a position where we're rebuilding the team really.

"The start of this season for us has obviously been very unusual, and we're now having to rebuild things whilst also looking at the bigger picture and the bigger strategy," he added.

Rumors of a link between McLaren-Honda and Manor are not new, although Woking has denied it wants to set up a 'B' team.

But it should be noted that McLaren is still owed money from the Marussia collapse, with documents late last year showing a debt of $11 million.

McLaren is also looking to advance the burgeoning careers of its junior drivers Kevin Magnussen, the 2015 reserve, and current GP2 series leader Stoffel Vandoorne.

A team spokesman told us the Manor link is "just a rumor".

And, separately, a spokesperson for Honda also said claims Manor is lining up as the marque's first engine customer is "just a rumor".

"It is news for us as well. The Manor bankruptcy and seats for 2016, this is not for Honda to answer," the Honda official added.

06/15/15 (GMM) Backmarker Manor is emerging as the front-runner to become Honda's first F1 customer.

The Japanese carmaker returned to F1 in 2015 as the works partner for McLaren, with whom it dominated the sport some decades ago.

Honda decided to focus only on McLaren this year, but F1 boss Yasuhisa Arai said recently he was open to adding a customer for 2016.

"If (other) teams want to use our engine or power unit," he said in February, "we can deliver that."

But the opening third of the 2015 season has been difficult for Honda, as it struggles with reliability and performance under the new turbo V6 'power unit' regulations.

Manor, however, could be a potential customer for Honda, Speed Week reports.

Currently, the team is powered by year-old Ferrari engines in the wake of the Marussia collapse and resurrection.

But Manor appears to have now stopped treading water, hiring the highly experienced Bob Bell as advisor and said to be focusing its efforts on an all-new car for 2016.

"We're in a very rapid period of rebuilding," said president Graeme Lowdon.

Another notable signing by Manor recently was Luca Furbatto, most recently the chief designer at Toro Rosso.

But before that, he spent ten years at McLaren, including as project leader of the 2011 car.

"Luca is a guy with a huge amount of experience," said Lowdon, "so that's going to strengthen the design side of the business."

Rumors of a link between McLaren-Honda and Manor are not new, although Woking has denied it wants to set up a 'B' team.

But it should be noted that McLaren is still owed money from the Marussia collapse, with documents late last year showing a debt of $11 million.

McLaren is also looking to advance the burgeoning careers of its junior drivers Kevin Magnussen, the 2015 reserve, and current GP2 series leader Stoffel Vandoorne.

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