Graeme Lowdon believes new rivals Haas could be “scoring pretty much straight away” thanks to a changes in Formula 1’s regulations.
Next season Haas will replace Manor as the new boys on the block as American Gene Haas braves the pinnicle of motorsport.
But while many have struggled in their debut campaign – and in the years that follow – Lowdon reckons Haas, who have a technical partnership with Ferrari, could be quick starters.
“It’s a reflection of just how difficult this industry is that they’ve changed the way a new team can come in,” the Manor president said during Sky Sports’ The F1 Show.
“If you look back to 2009 when we came in, we were subject to all the regulations on the same day we entered and had something like seven months to be on the grid in Bahrain [in 2010] and there was no option at all to delay that in any way.
“If we roll the clock forward, of the 2009 teams we’re the only ones that survived – and we’ve had some ups and downs.
“Haas have been allowed to defer their entry for a year, they’ve been able to take their time over it and, crucially, they’re not subject at present to any of the regulations. So they can take technology from any partner they want, they can take aero, they can spend as much time as they want in the wind tunnel.
“So the ease at which you can come into Formula 1 has changed dramatically and some would argue that that’s a sign that this is a pretty difficult sport to enter and it’s been a lot easier to enter now.
“That’s a good thing. It’s a bad thing for us because we came through a different route, so in my view they’re going to be points scoring pretty much straight away because that car is extremely well developed. You just buy in the technology – it’s going to be a really good package.”
Lowdon, though, is adamant Manor are not upset that changes have made it a bit easier for newcomers.
“I don’t think we can necessary complain about it,” he said. “We can’t complain that the industry’s too difficult and then complain when it’s made easier for people.”