Roberto Merhi: “I’m really happy with my result”

At the Monaco Grand Prix, the Manor F1 Team sadly did not get the opportunity to repeat their amazing result they achieved in 2014, but both of their drivers managed to finish the race; another great step forward for the team after everything they have been through in the past twelve months.

Rookie driver Roberto Merhi finished in sixteenth place, which is best result of the season so far, and team-mate Will Stevens in seventeenth, although the Briton’s pace was hampered after he sustained front wing damage in the early stages of the race.

Merhi commented that he was very happy with the result he achieved at the circuit yesterday and is pleased that he managed to bring the car home. He believes that the team have even more data under their belts in order to improve the performance of their car and believes that they are making good progress.

“I’m really happy with my result today. The pace was good and it was a great feeling to be racing in my first Monaco Grand Prix,” said Merhi.  

“I’m pleased for the team to get another two-car finish and we have plenty of data again to understand how we can keep improving the car for the next few races. The past few races have been tough but it feels like everything is coming together now.

“Canada will be a new and different experience again but it feels like we are making good progress now.”

Meanwhile, his team mate Stevens was happy to have finished his first Formula 1 race in Monte Carlo and getting both cars to the finish. Stevens confirmed that he sustained front wing damage in the early stages of the Grand Prix, which hurt the downforce on his car during the race alongside the prime tyre, but is encouraged by the progress the team are making.

“It’s nice to take the chequered flag at my first Monaco Grand Prix and it’s another good result for the team, getting both cars to the finish once again,” said Stevens.

“It wasn’t a straightforward race though; quite tough in fact. I picked up some front wing damage on my first lap and the combination of struggling for downforce whilst being on the prime tyre really hurt our race, and of course put me behind Roberto.

“So quite a bit of frustration along the way but we continue to be encouraged by our reliability and some improvement in pace here this weekend.”

Manor F1 Team Principal John Booth believes that both of his drivers yesterday had good performances, even though Merhi had a better result than Stevens. He is happy to have seen both drivers reach the finish line for the fourth race in a row, and revealed that the race weekend had been difficult for the team yet it also had a lot of significance for them, even if the result wasn’t the same as it was a year ago with Jules Bianchi scoring his and the team’s first points in Formula 1.

“Roberto drove a strong race today and was clearly relishing his debut at this historic circuit,” said Booth. “He had good pace and has started to find a better groove after struggling rather more at the last race in Spain.

“For Will things were a little more frustrating as it seems that damage to his front wing was more severe than was apparent, so it was a long race for him.

“Nonetheless, we are pleased to get both cars home for the fourth race in succession and to see we have improved the car a little here versus the teams directly ahead.

“It hasn’t been an easy week for the team as this event carries so much significance for us, but we have achieved our target of a strong race and a two-car finish. Although it is a very different result to the one we left Monaco with 12 months ago, in the context of this year it is a good performance.”