|Photo: XPB Images|
Assuming the team can find an eleventh-hour savior (and apparently they're "making progress"), the team has stated that they will have to use their 2016 car in the first three races of 2017.
Autoweek notes that: "For what it's worth, the 2016 car would have no chance of making the 107 percent rule in qualifying against the much faster 2017 machines." Yes, the new cars are expected to anywhere from two to five seconds faster per lap depending on the circuit, reckons new Mercedes man Valtteri Bottas.
The so-called "107% rule" states that any car that fails to run a lap time within 107% of the fastest time in the first qualifying session may not be allowed to start the race. Since the rule was reintroduced in 2011, many teams have failed to meet this threshold for various circumstances, though only perennial backmarker HRT was forbidden from racing. Given Manor's reputation as also being a perennial backmarker, chances are they would be slow enough to be forbidden to start the first three races if they did indeed use their old car.
Hopefully Manor will find an investor and survive. The first three races, however, already look rather bleak.