Roberto Merhi, Manor, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Merhi thrilled with “huge reward” for Manor

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Roberto Merhi, Manor, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Roberto Merhi says it was a “huge reward” for Manor to reach the chequered flag the first time they started a race this year.

On his F1 debut Merhi finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in 15th place, three laps down.

“I’m so happy for the team,” he said. “P15 is not only a great result from today’s race, but also a huge reward for a fantastic effort over the past few months. I’m really proud of us.”

“Coming into the weekend we knew things would not be easy; we had to work very hard and stay focused every step of the way. We missed out on some of our targets but in the end it was the race that mattered and we brought the car home with a full race distance.

“That was my main objective, as the information we now have is so important for our development, but it’s good to know that we got a good result along the way and finished ahead of some of the other teams.”

Neither Manor qualified for the first race in Australia and Merhi was their only car on the grid today as a fuel problem meant Will Stevens was unable to take the start.

“I’m sorry for Will that he was unable to race today,” said Merhi, “but we have a very good starting point for us both to work from in China and beyond. My thanks to the whole team for a really positive weekend.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 36 comments on “Merhi thrilled with “huge reward” for Manor”

    1. I hope they last… it’ll about money, isn’t it?!

      1. They should have waited a year. As much as I don’t like Bernie… Bernie is right to criticize them about showing up and racing. One car has only run.

        1. If they’d waited, they would have forfeited the prize money they would have received for last year. On top of that they would have had to submit a new application to the FIA and pay a new entry fee, and that’s assuming the FIA would have opened up the application process again.

        2. They couldn’t of done that as they wouldn’t have been able to get the prize money for last year, the prize money will help them pay off their debts so they can continue racing.

        3. Yet they had more cars finish than McLaren and only completed 7 fewer laps overall.

          1. Not sure I agree with that reasoning. You could stick a GP3 car at the back of the field and argue it deserves to be on the grid more than McLaren because it finished.

            @matt90 Have a quick look at the lap charts for the Manor relative to the rest of the field. They’re in a complete league of their own. Whilst I’m not saying they shouldn’t be there, if they don’t make at least some efforts to improve I think Bernie might actually have a point for a change.

            1. I was making a point that having only one car run wasn’t really that embarrassing since it finished in difficult circumstances (not to mention the teams in Australia who only had one car start). I don’t understand the relevance of what you said to that, seeing as neither I or Thomas made a comment on their pace.

        4. They did exactly no testing, are on an extremely tight budget and they just did better than Mclaren.

        5. The only reason BE wants that is so that CVC can bag even larger a chunk of the prize fund and save cost on transport @gremlinwon.

          Not to mention that not racing would mean the team would still have to find the cost of keeping it running all of this year and apply for a new F1 licence as well.

          1. But Ecclestone is “doing good for the sports”, doesn´t he?

        6. If Manor had waited, it would have been impossible to restart at all as the company would have been wound up. At which point not getting the 2014 prize money would be moot to everyone except Manor’s creditors.

          Manor was only 1 lap further away from the winner than it was with the same car last year. Cars have often finished 3 laps down from the winner without having the validity of their entries questioned. What’s changed?

    2. A better result than McLaren’s, he he

      1. That’s quite impressive, with many members departed, half their stuff auctioned and with 1 year old Ferrari power unit which was a disaster BTW, they have managed to reach the checkered flag while McLaren didn’t

    3. good on manor! hopefully more to come from them

    4. Am I alone in suspecting Manor were subject to a standard Bernie “No airtime for you!” rebuke today?

      As in, did anyone spot the car at all after the first lap? I get that they’re not going to be the stars of the show but, as Force India will attest, if you displease FOM you can find yourself Vanished..

      Anti-competitive much?

      1. Merhi was shown on the pit lane channel a few times today.

        Additionally both cars were shown on the various in-car feeds a dozen times over the weekend.

        Given how Merhi was never racing anybody its not surprising he didn’t get shown on the world feed, was the same in the past.

      2. Well, without sponsors on the car they don’t really care, do they?

        1. Pretty hard to get sponsors when your “TV time” stat looks worse than Lord Lucan’s…

        2. At least, they got “Errea” lasz week……..

      3. Well, unlike the last few years they are alone at the back. Combine that with the fact that only one of their cars started the race and you get one single car at the back with no other drivers to fight for position with, as opposed to the odd Marussia-Caterham battle we saw last year, and even then it was rare to see that in the broadcast.

        And I did spot Merhi once or twice during the race when he was being lapped. ;)

      4. Half the field seemed to be on “No airtime for you”, so I don’t think Manor did anything special to offend FOM. It was just that the camera was stuck watching DRS passes, none of which figured Manor.

    5. I wonder where they’d be if they had the 2015 Ferrari engine instead of 2014. I mean, Sauber improved by quite a margin, and I have a feeling they would be able to take the fight to McLaren if they had it.

      1. Merhi was 5 seconds slower than Alonso in qualifying. No doubt the Ferrari engine is a dramatic improvement, but I can’t imagine that alone would be enough to bring Manor to the back of McLaren.

      2. Given the amount of changes to the chassis needed and the lack of time to do them, probably no better.

        Where they’d be with a 2015 chassis and its corresponding engine (likely to show up between Spain and the summer break) is the interesting question.

    6. I found it quite funny that the only reason Mehri didn’t make the 107% time in Q1 on merit was because Mercedes unexpectedly chose to use medium tyres in Q1…
      Roll on a day and that unrelated decision is causing debates of strategy at the front of the grid.

    7. A shame they didn’t compete in Australia, they gave an opportunity to finish the season ahead of McLaren and could even get some points if they had this years engine.

      1. Are they allowed to change engines during the season (provided they stay within their limit of 4 engines)? I can’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed to.

    8. Dont fool yourselves. Manor is Marussia. After so many years….they keep driving more than 1 lap behind. Is it really necessary? Manor cannot compete with a GP2 car.
      They’re a joke

      1. @mumito Marussia were 4.3% off the leaders’ pace last year. GP2 cars were 7.2% slower. So last year a GP2 car was more than two-thirds slower than a Marussia compared to the F1 front-runners.

        I’m sure they’ll find it difficult to be as close as that given they’re now stuck with a year-old power unit and have spent several months in administration. But given how pathetically small the F1 field is and the trauma this team went through at the end of last year, I don’t understand why some are so eager for them to fail.

        Incidentally, I’ve seen many people make remarks about an F1 team being ‘slower than GP2 cars’ on previous occasions, and I can’t remember a single time when they’ve had their facts right. The streak goes on.

        1. I think you are being subjetive.
          Stevens no time in qualy. Merhi close to 1.47.
          Stefanno Colleti in 2013 qualified with 1.44.
          Max Chilton finished +2 laps in 2013…There is no use in teams such as Manor or HRT. The problem Bernie is on fire and should fill the grid, even if it is with the manors.
          Marussia didnt take advantage of 5 years…why would manor be different? Next year, when Haas appears…bye bye manor.

        2. @keithcollantine with a quick search, every single GP2 car in Malaisia was faster than Manor in qualifying. And his fasted lap time was slower than that GP2 race as well.

          I don’t know about the track conditions, but still…

          1. Not a fair comparison, as F1 cars were slowed down substantially between 2013 and 2014, and GP2 cars didn’t race in Malaysia last year to do a proper comparison (they were about a second faster in Bahrain in 2014 than 2013, but the characteristics of each track are different).

            1. Manor did that time 2 days ago, what does 2013 or 2014 have to do with it?

    9. To be fair I could have reached the finishing line on a bicycle eventually and some laps behind the leader.

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