Merhi: Huge reward for great effort


Roberto Merhi completed his first grand prix and then heaped praise on his Manor team for their "fantastic effort".

The Banbury-based squad were forced to sit out the season-opening Australian GP due to a software problem, but they were back on the grid at Sepang this weekend.

Merhi, who before this weekend had only competed in one free practice session, was their sole driver on Sunday after Will Stevens failed to make it onto the grid due to a fuel system problem.

While his more illustrious counterparts Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso from McLaren failed to see the chequered flag, Merhi completed the race.

"I’m so happy for the team. 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," the Spaniard said.

"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.

"I’m sorry for Will that he was unable to race today 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."