Roberto Merhi admits there is no guarantee he will be back with the Manor team next year. Last week, it emerged that the Spanish rookie will no longer split his time this year between F1 and his other race seat in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.
His team Pons explained that it was due to "clashing commitments" with Merhi's F1 campaign, but some interpreted the news as a sign that the 24-year-old may have secured a longer-term future with Manor. However, he tells Spain's El Confidencial newspaper that there are only "options to continue with Manor" next year.
Explaining the end of his F.Renault campaign, Merhi said: "If I had kept doing both (series) I would not have had any free weekends and there was no chance in the (F.Renault) championship, so there was no point." Merhi has had a difficult campaign with Manor, but in recent races he has at least compared favourably alongside his teammate Will Stevens.
Not widely known is that, as Manor regroups this season, Merhi did not have equal equipment earlier in 2015, and the Spaniard admits that "there are still differences" between his car and Stevens'. "Each time it has gotten better and in Monza I could not have given more because of the engine, but both personally and generally it is going very well, also for learning," he said.
As an amateur runner and triathlete, what Merhi is not worried about is the physical challenge of this weekend's traditionally arduous Singapore grand prix. "No, honestly the world series car is more tiring," he said. "The only race that made me tired was Malaysia, but I had not had many laps in the car then so it was normal." (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing