Manor test driver Jordan King says the team made significant progress with their chassis between his two tests for them in Barcelona and Silverstone.
King, who is racing in GP2 this year, drove for the team in the post-race tests at the Circuit de Catalunya and Silverstone. He also drove the team’s 2015 car at the end of last year however he believes their biggest progress has come during the current season.
“I think actually the most performance gain I’ve seen is from the Barcelona test through to this test just gone,” King told F1 Fanatic.
“There’s a big gap in between the end of last year and this year: it’s a new car, it’s all a bit different, we’ve got the new engine which is a big improvement.”
“But after driving the car in Barcelona when it’s still the start of the season and they’re getting to understand the car to where they are now, it’s a big improvement actually. I was quite impressed and gave them some more feedback on the direction they need to go.”
“They’re actually now really pushing the midfield of the grid and scored the first point the other weekend. And it’s clear to see why after jumping in the car and seeing the progress they’ve made during the season.”
Manor switched from a year-old Ferrari power unit to current Mercedes hardware this year but King believes rival engine manufacturers have closer the gap to the class-leading Brixworth design.
“That obviously helps, they’ve got the Mercedes engine, but it’s clear now that actually Ferrari and Renault are there or thereabouts,” he said. “Red Bull have won races and are consistently scoring podiums and also Ferrari are right up there as well.”
“So I think actually the engine playing field is a lot more even so it’s obviously great for the sport but it’s also made it harder for Manor because they actually now need to work solely on their car.”
“All in all they are making good progress, you see where they are from race one then to Barcelona where I drove the car and to see where they are now after scoring their first point it’s clear to see they are making solid progress.”
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