It wasn’t until Roberto Merhi arrived in Singapore on Monday that he was told he was being dropped to make way for Alexander Rossi.
Manor revealed on Wednesday that American racer Rossi would replace Merhi for five grands prix, starting this weekend in Singapore.
The news came as a surprise to many, not least Merhi.
“I flew in on Monday and when I arrived the team gave me the news that Rossi would be in my place for five of the seven races remaining,” he said on Thursday.
And despite having to attend the FIA press conference at the Marina Bay circuit, Merhi
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Merhi is grateful for the opportunity given to him by Manor and acknowledges the fact it made a decision in the best interests of the team.
“At the beginning of the year when I came to Manor they gave me a great chance to be a part of a team and a driver of the team.
“For sure, I didn’t know how long it was going to end up. They gave me a very good chance to be in the car for 12 races and I want to say thank you to the team.
“Now they have taken a decision which is better for the team in the long-term results. We hope it is still competitive for the last two races I have this year.
“I will try to prepare now all the weekends I go with the team, from now until the end of the year, try to improve and learn as much as I can, to be ready for the races in Sochi and Abu Dhabi.”
As for his future, the Spaniard conceded that is now shrouded in uncertainty.
“For next season we don’t know yet. We are looking for a Formula One seat and we will try to find the best option possible. Now in these days budget is really important and it is hard to find a budget.”