Merhi out to extend ‘Professional’ career in single-seaters


2015 Manor F1 Team driver Roberto Merhi is seeking to extend his single-seater career in 2016 but is hoping to be paid to race.

The Spaniard raced for free in 2015 in an uncompetitive car, finishing a seasons best twelfth at Silverstone, but is targeting to become a professional racing driver even though the options in Formula 1 are seemingly limited to another season with Manor.

“The target now is to be a professional racing driver and race in something where you can stay and without worrying if next race I’ll be in the car or not,” said Merhi. “That’s the target.

“I think the year went well and I would love to continue after the results I had in the past and now. I think I belong in single-seaters and not in something with a roof. My target is to continue with single-seaters.

“I’m trying to see what we can do for next year. At the moment we are looking at some options. In Formula 1 there are a few options and outside there are a few options. It’s quite hard out there.”

Merhi has revealed he would consider settling for a reserve driver role in 2016 providing it was with a competitive team.

“If it’s a really good team, yes,” insisted Merhi. “Because in a good team you can do so many things and you have a simulator and you can test other cars. That’s also an option.”

Merhi has insisted he has no intention of racing in either Formula E – for being ‘too slow’ – or Super Formula, with the Spaniard admitting he would find it hard to be paid in Japan, but felt a move to the IndyCar Series in the United States is a possibility.

“To be honest, I haven’t looked at it, because I think at the end of the day most of the driver pay and don’t get paid,” said Merhi. “So it’s not an option. I think in the past Super Formula was an option, but not now. It’s not as attractive as it was two or three years ago.

“I quite like the [Indy] car. They are quick. The only thing is they are a bit too heavy, but they have massive downforce and I think it would be nice to drive it. It’s similar to a FR3.5 car or something like that.”