Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff has backed Manor to take a significant step forward next year and join the battle in midfield.
There is plenty of reason for optimism in the Manor camp as Mercedes will be their power unit supplier in 2016 while they have also signed a technical partnership with Williams.
This is a far cry from the situation they found themselves in earlier this year when they were only saved days before the start of the new F1 season with Ferrari coming to their rescue with a 2014-spec engine.
It is no surprise that the Manor drivers have been in a battle of their own at the back of the grid this year, but Wolff feels they will be able to challenge a bit further up the grid next season.
“I think they are able to step up,” he told Autosport. “Certainly they have been running this year with the constraints of last year’s administration, using a 2014 Ferrari engine.
“With the additional time they’ve been given this year and the lessons they’ve learned – and with our power units and with Williams’s input – they are certainly able to step up into the midfield.”