Manor Formula One driver Roberto Merhi on Thursday revealed that he only learned he was being replaced by Alexander Rossi for the Singapore Grand Prix after arriving this week.
The 24-year-old Spaniard has been shunted for five of the last seven races this season in favour of GP2 driver Rossi, who is the only American with an F1 superlicence.
“I flew on Monday and when I arrived, the team gave me the news I would not be driving and Rossi would be in my place,” Merhi told reporters ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
“For next season, we still don’t know yet. We are looking for a Formula One seat and we will try to find the best option possible but obviously these days the budget is really important and at the moment it’s hard to find.”
However Mehri, who was on a race-by-race deal with the team born from the ashes of now-defunct Marussia, said he was glad just to have been given a chance to drive.
“At the beginning of the year when I came to Melbourne (Australian Grand Prix) with Manor, they gave me a great chance to be part of the team… but for sure I didn’t know how long it was going to end up,” he said.
“At least I did 12 races, that is really good, I think, for a driver in Formula One. They gave me a good chance to be there in the car for 12 races and I want to say thank you for them.
“But obviously they have taken a decision that is better for the team long-term. We hope that I am still competitive for the last two races I have this year.” – Agence France-Presse