A dark cloud has reportedly moved back over the future of the F1 backmarker Manor.
Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat claims there are rumours the team, which almost collapsed at the end of 2014, is now once again in danger of running out of steam.
Germany’s Auto Bild is reportedly similarly, saying the financial situation means that if Manor wants to survive, it will almost certainly have to hire “two pay drivers” for 2017.
Reportedly, the big problem for Manor is having lost the lucrative tenth place in the constructors’ world championship to Sauber, after Felipe Nasr’s surprise ninth place in the wet Brazilian grand prix.
Tenth place is worth at least $15 million and perhaps much more, while eleventh gets nothing.
“This result is thanks to the whole team,” Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn is quoted by Blick. “This is the reward for their great work.”
But while it is Nasr who scored the sensational result for Sauber, it may actually have harmed rather than helped the Brazilian’s chances of staying at the Swiss team.
That is because Manor may now need to chase the best funded drivers for 2017 rather than stick with Pascal Wehrlein, who is backed by Mercedes.
It is believed Esteban Gutierrez, Jordan King and Rio Haryanto are all offering more to Manor than Wehrlein and Mercedes can.
So if Wehrlein is on the move, Sauber might sign him — to replace Nasr, whose Banco do Brasil sponsorship is in trouble.