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F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Merhi only informed of demotion on arrival

Roberto Merhi: Obviously I came here... I flew on Monday and when I arrived the team give me the news that I would not be driving...
Roberto Merhi has revealed he only found out he wasn't driving for Manor this weekend when he arrived in Singapore.

It follows the announcement from the team on Wednesday that Alexander Rossi will drive in five of the seven remaining events, with Merhi demoted to reserve.

Merhi will, however, return for the races in Russia and Abu Dhabi as Rossi will switch back to GP2, where he is currently in contention to take the title.

“Obviously I came here... I flew on Monday and when I arrived the team give me the news that I would not be driving and Rossi would be in my place for the four or five races of the remaining seven,” Merhi told reporters on Thursday.

Asked about 2016 and his plans now for next year, he added: “For next season, we still don't know yet. We are looking for a Formula 1 seat and we will try to find the best option possible but obviously these days I think a budget is really important and at the moment it's hard to find.”

Meanwhile, despite being demoted, Merhi said he was grateful to the team for giving him the chance to compete at the pinnacle of the sport.

“At the beginning of the year when I came to Melbourne with Manor, they gave me a great chance to be part of the team and to be a driver of the team but for sure I didn't know how long it was going to end up,” he continued.

“At least I did 12 races - that is really good, I think, for a driver in Formula One that is quite difficult. And they gave me a good chance to be there in the car for 12 races and I want to say thank you to them but obviously I think they have taken a decision that is better for the team in the long-term.

“I hope that I am still competitive for the last two races I have this year and I will try to prepare now all the weekends that I go together with the team, from now to the end of the year, and try to improve and learn as much as I can, to get ready for the races in Sochi and in Abu Dhabi.”

Merhi also added that he is confident Manor will be a lot more competitive in 2016: “The main focus already is on the new car in '16 because now it's quite near the end of the year and for sure the target for the team is next year to be a competitive team fighting for a good result, for points and I'm sure they're going to achieve it. It's the best thing to do for them.”
by Rob Wilkins

Related Pictures

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17.09.2015 - Press conference, Roberto Merhi (ESP) Manor Marussia F1 Team

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