Merhi beats Stevens to the flag in Belgium

Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens gave the Manor F1 Team a positive start to the second half of the 2015 season with a two-car finish at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday.

Spanish driver Merhi took the inter-team honours around the Belgian track, and felt in control of his race, pushing when he needed to and conserving his tyres well. He was never challenged by his team-mate, and felt the race around Spa was quiet lonely for him.

“It was a good race for me,” reflected Merhi. “I got ahead of my team-mate on the first lap and things stayed that way until the finish.

“It was a bit of a lonely race for me to be honest, and mainly about managing my tyres so that I could push when I needed to. I think the strategy worked out well to limit the blue flags, and this enabled us to maintain reasonable pace.

“It’s always a real pleasure to drive here at Spa; you never get tired of experiencing Eau Rouge. And of course we start the second half of the season with another two-car finish, so a good solid weekend.”

Team-mate Stevens was 10.951s behind Merhi at the chequered flag, but was disappointed to lose ground at the start despite feeling he made a good getaway. He felt the pace was good throughout the race, but could not find the time to fight his team-mate for P15.

“My start was really good,” insisted Stevens. “I managed to get in front of [Felipe] Nasr in the first corner and then I came out and I was sandwiched in the middle of two cars, and with no room.

“I was hit and that compromised me quite a bit. I lost position and although the pace was really good, I wasn’t able to regain the place.

“So, a race that hasn’t really gone my way in terms of the result, but a positive weekend overall and of course we achieved another two-car finish as a team.”