On a very difficult weekend in Hungary for the Manor F1 Team following the tragic death of Jules Bianchi last week, Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens qualified on the back row of the grid at the Hungaroring.
Merhi’s recent improved form saw him out-qualify Stevens for the fourth time in 2015, and felt the whole weekend has been going to plan so far, although he expects the race on Sunday to be difficult for the team.
“I had a good qualifying today, so I’m really happy with the way this week is going for me,” said Merhi. “Tomorrow will be a tough race, but with the weather looking like it might be cooler, I think we can improve a little more.
“It would be good to give the team a nice result tomorrow on a difficult day, and leave us with a positive feeling as we head into the break.”
Team-mate Stevens could not match Merhi during qualifying, feeling that the hotter temperatures on Saturday meant he could not get as much confidence in the car that he had during the cooler conditions at Silverstone three weeks ago.
“The weekend has been pretty tough; the hot temperatures have hurt our balance a little and I’ve been struggling to get confidence in the car,” reflected Stevens.
“Qualifying was okay. My first run didn’t really go according to plan, as I made a mistake through the quick turn out the back, so there was a lot of pressure for the second.
“I lost quite a bit of time compared to how the first run had been going up until the time I had to abort, so it wasn’t perfect but Roberto and I are still pretty close and we’ll see how things go tomorrow.
“The temperature is expected to be quite a bit cooler for the race, which should help us.”