Roberto Merhi has conceded that his chances of securing the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in Jerez were slim, just hours after Carlos Sainz Jr. was crowned victorious.

The Spaniard needed to win race one at his home circuit if he was to keep his title hopes alive however, after qualifying tenth, he was involved in an incident with Arden's William Buller at turn one. His early retirement handed Sainz the title victory despite finishing ninth.

"I was not thinking about the championship, just my race", he told Crash.net not long after the incident. "I wanted to win the race and try to do well."

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Admitting his disappointment at the result, the Spaniard spoke of his curtailed race, explaining the collision with Buller.

"I was on the outside trying to go round Buller and Stockinger but after they touched wheels and then I was in the gravel," he continued. "I am disappointed about the race only because I wanted to do well for the team."

Zeta Corse has now lost third place in the constructors' battle to Arden Motorsport after a top ten finish for their main points scorer Pierre Gasly. The team has struggled in the dry conditions and must now rely on tyre strategy to win close the twelve point deficit tomorrow.

"It really is very disappointing to retire from the race and to not score points but I am pleased for Carlos. Congratulations to him."