Manor racing director Dave Ryan says the team has multiple options for its 2017 driver line-up but the choices depend on influences inside and out of the squad.
With Esteban Ocon being picked up by Force India with the blessing of Mercedes, Manor will have at least one new driver next season but the British team remains tight-lipped on its 2017 line-up.
Ryan says it is awaiting on a range of issues to be organised before making a final decision, ranging from its existing deal with engine supplier Mercedes to drivers bringing in sponsorship, but seems keen to retain current driver Pascal Wehrlein who he sees going to 'the very top of the tree' in F1.
“Pascal deserves to be in Formula One and he's got the talent to be at the very top of the tree,” Ryan said. “It is not my call and actually it is down to a lot of things. He is a Mercedes driver. For us we need certain things to fall into place. We are in quite a fortunate position at the moment as we have quite a few options and we will see how they pan out.”
Reflecting on Ocon getting the promotion to Force India over Wehrlein, Ryan says the frustration from the German driver is completely justified but is confident the future remains bright for the 2015 DTM champion.
“They are two young guys with great futures. It would be frustrating for anyone in Pascal's position as he has done a great job,” he said. “Is there tension? Of course there is and frustration, if there wasn't you'd be worried about the guy as you want to see a bit of edge.
“It is probably more intense [managing team-mates] where we are as the guys are desperate and the only way to prove yourself is your team-mate and they are pretty bloody close!”
Who is going where? 2017 F1 driver line-up so far
Manor and Sauber remain the only F1 teams yet to confirm its 2017 driver line-ups. Wehrlein looks a likely favourite to remain at Manor with his links to Mercedes while Rio Haryanto, Esteban Gutierrez and Felipe Nasr have all been linked to the British team.
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