Roberto Merhi still has hope of Formula 1 role


Despite seeing his chances of continuing with the Manor Racing squad for the 2016 season disappear, Roberto Merhi has not yet given up hope of being involved in Formula 1 in some capacity this year.

Merhi’s name was linked with a return to Manor after competing in thirteen races with the outfit last season, with his best result coming at Silverstone when he finished twelfth, but ultimately he lost out to rookies Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto for 2016.

Merhi had been assured he was in contention for the Manor drive before Haryanto came in with the backing of the Indonesian Government, and ultimately had to give up his chance of racing in the sport in 2016.

“I’m not ruling out anything,” said Merhi to Spanish radio station Cope. “To be a racing driver this year is impossible unless something happens, but we could still be there in some form, so we’ll see if there’s a way to stay and if it’s interesting.

“They were waiting for him [Haryanto] because he was saying he was bringing a lot of money, and in the end it turned out to be true – and he has a country paying for the drive. And if you have a country paying for it, then it’s hard to fight against it.”

Despite missing out on a role in Formula 1, Merhi has rejected the opportunity to switch to sportscar racing, feeling it is not something he finds enjoyable despite a test with the LMP2-class Greaves Motorsport team.

“To try to race in something I like because I’ve been in Formula 1, and racing for the sake of racing is something that doesn’t motivate me… I’m not interested,” said Merhi.

“I prefer to do something I like, otherwise I prefer to stay home and do other things because doing GTs or something like that is not what I’ve prepared for.”