Roberto Merhi

Manor F1’s Roberto Merhi not under fire from reserve driver Fabio Leimer

The Manor F1 Team confirms that current driver Roberto Merhi is in no danger of losing his seat following the signing of Fabio Leimer for the reserve driver role.

Leimer, the 2013 GP2 champion, was signed last week following the arrival of former Mercedes technical director Bob Bell, who was brought on as a team consultant for the remainder of the season. Merhi’s contract has been confirmed on a race-by-race basis since the Spanish Grand Prix, while teammate Will Stevens’ deal is through the end of the year.

Graeme Lowdon, Manor’s sporting director, was asked if Merhi’s days were numbered following the signing of Leimer: “No. Not at all,” Lowdon told F1i.

“We’d been running without a reserve driver and although we have various arrangements in place to cover that situation, it’s better to have that sort of area covered with someone’s who is with the team all the time.

“These cars are so complex now, it’s not a case of just strapping someone in. So there are huge advantages to having a third driver and yes, you’re quite right, it keeps everyone honest and there’s no harm in that.

“These guys all know each other and feed off each other and the other thing is that with the way regulations are going it’s harder to find the right drivers with the right experience.”

Image: Manor Grand Prix Racing Ltd

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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