Roberto Merhi: “I hope we can have a strong race”

The Manor F1 Team arrive in Spain for the first European race of the 2015 Formula 1 season having seen both Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi finish every race they have started so far this year.

After a troubled start to the year, the team are now qualifying well within the 107% time they were struggling to reach in the first races, and despite the team being well adrift of the rest of the field, Stevens in particularly can be content with his performances, having outraced Merhi so far.

Merhi is the third Spanish driver to be racing in his home Grand Prix this weekend along with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr, with the Formula Renault 3.5 star hoping for a strong race and a two-car finish in front of his home fans.

“A home race is always exciting, so to be racing in front of the Spanish fans in a Formula 1 car for the first time is something very special for me,” insisted Merhi. “It’s a circuit I know really well, of course, and I love the high-speed nature of the track.

“The crowd at the Circuit de Barcelona are also very passionate so the atmosphere is pretty electric. I hope we can have a strong race and continue our run of two-car finishes there for them.”

Team-mate Stevens is also looking forward to getting back behind the wheel this weekend, especially as it will be on a track he has prior experience on, something that could not have been said for the four previous races.

“It’s been a long break from the car, so I’m really looking forward to racing again and to getting back to some more familiar circuits,” said Stevens. “The long haul races were all new tracks for me and while it’s good to have that challenge, the European circuits are all places I’ve raced at many times before.

“That kind of consistency is important at a time when we are able to start looking forward a little more and what we can do to develop during the remainder of the season.”