Sauber’s ninth-place finish in Brazil will have a major impact on Manor’s 2017 driver line-up, according to the F1 Report guests.
Felipe Nasr picked up two points at his home race in Interlagos to move Sauber off the foot of the Constructors’ Championship, knocking Manor out of 10th spot.
The difference between finishing 10th and 11th in the standings is thought to be worth in excess of $30m in prize money.
And losing that income could force Manor to look for drivers who bring a budget, rather than making a decision based on driving talent, Racecar Engineering magazine’s Sam Collins told the show.
“I know the Manor guys are absolutely gutted about this result because they are not sure if they can recapture that position in Abu Dhabi,” said Collins.
“If they can’t that is $30m and that will change the driver line-up substantially. It may mean after Abu Dhabi a lot of conversation about who is sitting in what seat when we get to Barcelona next year.”
Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley feels the entire prize money structure needs changing to protect the smaller teams such as Manor and Sauber.
“How crazy is that we have 11 teams in F1, yet only 10 of them recoup any prize money. The structure of prize money is disastrous in F1, it needs to be changed and I hope it will be with potential change in ownership,” said Priestley.
“It is a shame we are talking about the one team that comes last not earning anything, costing them $30m. That is more than 10 per cent of their budget for the season, probably more for those teams.
“So it is a real shame that that is the situation and that is going to put a lot of pressure on both in Abu Dhabi.”
Collins concurred, stressing the importance of the smaller teams to upcoming drivers and engineers.
“We don’t have a full grid because the prize money structure is a catastrophe at the moment. We need the small teams like HRT and Caterham because that is where the young drivers and engineers come from,” he said.
“They need to be taught and learn. Since Minardi have gone, it is really hard for young drivers and engineers to work their way up.”
Don’t miss the F1 Report’s Brazilian GP review on Sportsclubsociety F1 on Wednesday at 8.30pm