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Could a Manor-Mercedes tie up leave McLaren Honda languishing at the back of the grid?

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There can be no doubt that Manor have done a commendable job just by being present at all the races in this year’s championship. For a team which was on the brink of extinction in December their sole focus for 2015 was survival, and let's face it, with a one year old car and engine they really didn’t have much of chance of achieving anything else.

Next year however, could see a different Manor GP altogether, a team powered by the class of the field Mercedes power unit.

With Manor currently in talks with Mercedes regarding an engine supply deal starting in 2016, the bigwigs over at McLaren’s HQ in woking could soon be nervously looking over their shoulder at a team which could start next season effectively reborn. Honda’s power unit has proved so drastically uncompetitive that many in the F1 paddock, and possibly even McLaren themselves will now be wondering how much an inroad Honda can actually make in time for the 2016 season. With Honda refusing to hire outside help their approach could soon see both the reputation of both parties plummet even more than it has during the course of 2015.

With McLaren not having won a race since the departure of Hamilton at the end of 2012, and the lack of a title sponsor combined with poor race performance beginning to financially hit home the winter break will be a crucial period for McLaren Honda. Bolting a new Mercedes engine into their brand new car could potentially bring Manor right into contention with McLaren, especially given the ominous performance of the new “prototype” Mercedes engine on show at Monza last weekend and the Japanese manufacturer must act quickly to avoid embarrassing of the most famous names in Motorsport for another season.

 

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