Manor signs Merhi to second seat

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

15139941695_68f6c94eb5_zManor has confirmed that Spanish driver Roberto Merhi will make his Formula 1 debut for the team in Australia this weekend, completing the 20-strong Formula 1 grid.

Merhi spent part of 2014 in a test driver role at Caterham, where he participated in free practice for the team in Italy, Japan and Russia.

Merhi was reportedly close to making his Formula 1 debut with Caterham in Abu Dhabi last year but the seat went to Will Stevens, who has also made the move across to Manor for 2015.

Merhi won the Formula 3 Euroseries crown in 2011 prior to spending two years in DTM with Mercedes.

Merhi returned to single-seaters in 2014 as he claimed three race victories last year's Formula Renault 3.5 Series, placing third, behind Carlos Sainz Jr. and Pierre Gasly.

The length of Merhi's deal is not clear, with Manor saying that he would participate in the 'opening rounds'. Merhi recently signed a deal to race for Pons in Formula Renault 3.5, which begins at the end of April.

"I am incredibly excited to be making my Formula 1 debut with Manor Marussia F1 Team in Melbourne this weekend," said Merhi.

"It is a big responsibility but I feel ready to make this step in my career and to show that I can make an important contribution to developing a team."

Manor also announced that Jordan King - son of interim team chairman Justin - will combine his duties in GP2 alongside a driver development role at the squad.

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