Rival doubts McLaren using Manor for advantage

Feb.27 (GMM) An engineer for a rival team has rubbished suggestions McLaren is only supporting Manor in order to gain a self-interested advantage.

Although owed millions by the former Marussia team, McLaren is among the list of major creditors who have agreed to be repaid at a later date so that Manor can bid to return to F1 in 2015.

McLaren is a crucial technology partner of Manor’s, in an arrangement that involved the use of the Woking team’s wind tunnel.

So when it emerged that McLaren has vowed to keep helping Manor despite the unpaid bills, some suspected that it may simply be a ploy for the grandee British team to benefit from additional wind tunnel time, given the sport’s ever-tightening restrictions.

An engineer for a rival team, however, rubbished the theory.

“What benefit to McLaren would the testing of isolated parts on a completely different car be?” the unnamed engineer is quoted by Speed Week.

“Additionally, the FIA monitors any such work in the wind tunnel, so if you recall McLaren’s $100 million fine of a few years ago, they would certainly not contemplate doing anything like that.”

However, with the Manor race seat alongside Will Stevens still open for 2015, the latest rumour is that a leading candidate to fill it could be Stoffel Vandoorne, the heavily McLaren-backed GP2 driver.

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