Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is under the firm belief that Manor will improve greatly during the 2016 season, potentially becoming a midfield runner alongside the likes of Sauber and Haas.
Despite scoring two points at the Monaco Grand Prix back in 2014 courtesy of the late Jules Bianchi, Manor have failed to return to the top ten after spending last season towards the rear of the order following major changes within the outfit.
However, for the forthcoming season Manor are potentially poised to rise off the bottom of the pecking order, with their strong Williams technical partnership set to combine with Mercedes power for the first time.
Along with Mercedes power the team will also enter the new season with reigning DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein behind the wheel of their new MRT05 car.
The 21-year-old German already has some F1 experience under his belt, after completing tests with both Mercedes and Force India.
Although the final seat at Manor has yet to be filled, Wolff is adamant that 2016 could well be one of vast improvements for the Banbury-based outfit.
“Manor will make a big step up and not only because of the engine but there is a good bunch of people coming together,” insisted Wolff to GPUpdate.
“[They are] impressive individuals, with the right budget and the right attitude, and [have] Pascal in the car, so I have confidence that the car and the driver will have highlights and could be a solid midfield runner.”
Last season Manor could only manage a personal best finish of 12th on two occasions, courtesy of both Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi.
If Wolff’s predictions are true, then the midfield section of the grid will undoubtedly become even more competitive, with Haas also aiming to hit the ground running when the season finally gets underway in March.
Manor will unveil their new challenger – the MRT05 – on February 22nd, just prior to the start of proceedings on day one of the first official pre-season test in Barcelona.