Speculation Manor could be about to split the final race seat on the 2016 grid three ways appears wide of the mark.
That is because British newspapers the Telegraph and Daily Mail are reporting that Briton Will Stevens, reportedly among the three contenders to be Pascal Wehrlein’s teammate, has dropped out of the race.
London’s Telegraph said 24-year-old Stevens, who raced for the backmarker team throughout 2015, is being replaced by Indonesian Rio Haryanto, whose government-linked backing reportedly tallies almost $15 million.
“Stevens is likely to try racing elsewhere, perhaps in America, before seeking again to make it in formula one,” correspondent Daniel Johnson wrote.
There are also rumours Stevens could now be looking to move to Williams to be reserve driver, replacing the recently-departed Adrian Sutil.
Johnson added that confirmation of GP2 driver Haryanto’s deal is “expected in the next few days”.