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'It's been a huge challenge' - Stephen Fitzpatrick on Manor rescue

Stephen Fitzpatrick: You don't quite appreciate just how many things you need to get right to bring two cars home at the end of a race
Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick says it has been a “huge challenge” since rescuing the team from administration at the start of 2015 and that he is full of respect for the other teams and team principals.

Fitzpatrick, who confirmed the squad had “agreed terms” with a new investor last month, although he didn't go into specifics, also added that it is “hard to appreciate” just what it takes to put two cars on the F1 grid.

“It's been a fascinating two years,” he said. “I can recommend it to anyone. It has been exhilarating, races like Bahrain this year, obviously Austria and then Brazil. So lots of ups and downs. But also humbling I would say.

“Coming into this sport as a beginner let's say, but as a lifelong fan, but new to the inside of the sport, you don't quite appreciate just how many things you need to get right to bring two cars home at the end of a race and I've learned a lot about just how difficult it is to build a car, to race the car, to put the team together. So I would say I'm full of respect for the people around me in the sport, the other teams, the other team principals. It's been a huge challenge.”

Fitzpatrick also insisted that while losing out to Sauber in the battle for tenth in the Constructors' was disappointing, he was also pleased for them.

“I think the first reaction wasn't really a financial one [when Felipe Nasr finished ninth in Brazil, the penultimate race of the season]. It would have been a very exciting race and coming to the end of what was an exhilarating season, lots of ups and downs,” he explained.

“We had held tenth place for, I think, ten races, Brazil was number ten and at many points during the race there were lots of different scenarios and there was a lot of furious calculations about finishing the race at different points throughout.

“The first reaction I had was one of real disappointment for the team. I think they've worked incredibly hard for the last, let's say, 18 months since the start of last season without much reward and it looked like we were heading for a tenth-place finish which was a big step forward for us. So one of immediate disappointment for the team who worked so hard all year back at the factory and here on the circuit.

“But my next reaction was actually one of… I thought of the opposite feeling that must be going on in the Sauber garage and I thought that the guys in the Sauber team had been fantastic competitors for us all year, we'd enjoyed a great battle with them and I knew how much those points meant to the Sauber team and I was trying to imagine the joy they would be having and they worked so hard all season to bring it back in the end.

“So in the end I think the season doesn't come down to one race. Obviously the way the points are structured that was a critical race for us. Very unexpected. But that's racing.

“On that day it didn't go our way but I think we all want to see more of that unpredictability, that excitement. So, in the end, it was a difficult night, let's say, and then back to business,” he concluded.
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.11.2016 - Free Practice 1, Dave Ryan, Manor Racing, Racing Director and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
11.11.2016 - Free Practice 1, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
29.10.2016 - Free Practice 3, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Manor Racing goup photo, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Jordan King (GBR) Manor Racing, Test Driver and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05

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