We already know quite a bit about the direction Manor were going to take, as we saw the unraced 2015 car wind tunnel model.
This was going to run the Ferrari rear end with a shorter wheel base (than the 2014 car), by removing the roll hoop mounted oil cooler, to allow the fuel tank to be shorter and taller. The oil cooler being repositioned STR style with rhomboid cooler flanking the engine.
We also know the team will now run the Mercedes PU with the Williams gearbox and suspension.
The Merc PU set up is different to the Ferrari, Merc place most of the ancillaries in front of the IC engine, meaning the fuel tank needs lots of relief to fit the compressor, airbox inlet, control electronics and battery. Ferrari pretty much only house the battery in the fuel tank area, allowing a short tank thus pushing the engine forward along the wheelbase. Ferrari also provide the Mezzo water intercooler, fitted in the V of the engine, as opposed to the Merc customers who tend to run air intercooler sin the sidepod. Countering that slightly is Ferrari’s larger electronics package which goes in the sidepods.
So Manor’s challenge will be to get the desired wheelbase and engine position. Mercs own powertrain set up is quite short, so using Williams gearbox should mean the length is greater by having a longer gearbox case. So the tub will no doubt have to retain a longer fuel tank, with a large space underneath for all the Mercedes gubbins.
We haven’t seen a roll hoop fed oil cooler on the Merc PU installation, the Merc has a very bulky plenum, but the concept could work and will free up space in the sidepods. No doubt the Merc ERS water cooler will take its customary position above the gearbox, again fed from the roll hoop.
The front of the tub needs to be cleaned up from the interim 2015 spec, I’d be surprised if they go for a short nose, due to the resources that will suck up to get past crash testing, unless there’s some Williams cooperation there. As Williams have a very clever and different nose structure to all the other teams.
The inboard suspension, will need developing, as the teams fledgling FRIC set up using telescoping pushrods was discarded and a parts bin set up refitted to the car when FRIC was banned mid 2014. I doubt they’ve had time or budget to develop this area in 2015.
This will be critical to manage ride height for a more raked set up. As will time in Williams tunnel developing the aero, which is still quite a step behind most of the grid.