Race Winner Merhi Looks Back at Moscow Breakthrough

by Paul Hensby

For Spaniard Roberto Merhi, the Russian round of the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series was impressive. The Zeta Corse driver followed a fourth placed finish in the opening race of the weekend on Saturday with his maiden series victory on Sunday after starting from pole position at the Moscow Raceway.

Merhi took his maiden pole position by 0.015s ahead of New Zealander Richie Stanaway of Lotus on Sunday morning, and then made the race look easy as he strolled to his maiden win by 6.748s from the Red Bull backed Arden Motorsport driver Pierre Gasly.

“My happiness is total right now,” said Merhi on his official website. “To win starting from pole is the best you can get. At Spa I had some very hard moments, but this weekend’s result is a big boost for everybody at Zeta Corse. Step by step we are fine-tuning the car and the team, and I hope that for the final part of the championship more results like this one keep coming.

“At a personal level this is more than a simple win as I’m showing the big improvement I’ve had since I won the F3 Euro Series in 2011. Right now I’m a more complete driver than I’ve ever been and I hope that it will help me to have a chance in the future to get to F1 where my rivals, when I was racing in Formula­ Renault 2.0 and the F3, [Daniel] Ricciardo and [Valtteri] Bottas, are being really successful.”

Race one on Saturday was also productive for the young Spaniard, qualifying third on the grid and taking fourth place at the end of the race, shadowing AV Formula driver Zoel Amberg for the whole race around a track notoriously hard to overtake on.

“I am very happy with how the things have gone,” said Merhi on Saturday. “I got faster as the race progressed, in fact over the last laps I was the fastest driver on the track but it was too much to challenge for third in the classification. Nevertheless the points for fourth position are vital for the championship.

We are working positively for this track, and I hope that tomorrow we can even improve on the result obtained today. My objective continues being the same, to add points in each race to the end of season.”

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