Will Stevens is looking forward to getting at the wheel of an all-new Manor, so that he can race against more than one rival.
Currently, the former Marussia team is struggling alone at the back of the grid with a 2014 car hurriedly cobbled together to comply with this year’s rules.
“We have no rivals,” Briton Stevens was quoted as saying on Thursday.
“The only person I am fighting is my teammate,” he explained, referring to fellow rookie, Spaniard Roberto Merhi.
Manor is caught in a difficult situation at present, as with certainly F1’s smallest budget it is loathe to spend too much improving a car that will soon be obsolete.
“Our priority,” Stevens confirmed, “is to get the new car as quickly as possible.
“I think we will then be much more competitive.”
Merhi told Spain’s AS newspaper that the 2015 car is “80 per cent” complete, with hopes that it will be finished in the summer.
In the meantime, he and Stevens are struggling to shine at the very back of the field.
“I want to prove that I am ready for a career in formula one,” said Stevens. “It helps that we are able to compare what we are doing with what the (Marussia) drivers did last year.
“But my only real rival is my teammate, so the goal is to be ahead of him in every session,” added Stevens.
As for Merhi, he said his goal for Bahrain is exactly the same, despite struggling for the past week with a sore back due to a poorly-fitting seat.
“I’m better now,” he said, “no problems, and we are making a new seat.” (GMM)