Pascal Wehrlein says it is not unreasonable for Manor to set its sights on challenging Renault next after putting the minnow team on the board with a top ten finish in Austria.
A charging drive by the German would see Wehrlein snatch a tenth place finish on the final lap – on the tail of Williams' Valtteri Bottas -, securing Manor only its second points' finish since 2010.
A result that sees it rise to the all-important tenth place in the constructors' standings ahead of the still point-less Sauber, Wehrlein's success comes as Manor – which has been rooted to the back of the grid for the last six seasons – has begun to challenge for Q2 on a more regular basis.
Indeed, Wehrlein says it is not unreasonable for Manor to have aspirations of challenging a factory team like Renault this year.
“It's really nice for the team and even for me because if we can finish in this season at the end of the season it would help us a lot for next year of course,” he said. “Even with the prize money and everything, so first of all I'm really happy for the team and hopefully we can hold this position.
“You never know, if we improve a bit more maybe we can attack the Renault which can be great. The other thing is yes of course it helped me a lot, even to improve to some other important guys that the talent is there and that I can do it. Overall it was a good step forward.”
Despite this, Wehrlein is tempering expectations that it will be able to challenge for points on a regular basis, adding that tyre management remains key for its MRT05.
“The circuit and the new surface [helped in Austria]. “You could see in the lap times we were much quicker than last year and when you're going quicker you put more energy in the tyres and then everything is going up.”