Roberto Merhi's time in formula one could be coming to an end. The Spanish rookie has been on a race-by-race deal with struggling backmarker Manor all season, but in recent days it had appeared his seat was more secure.
That is because he has finally stopped splitting his time between F1 and the Formula Renault 3.5 series, telling El Confidencial newspaper this week that he has "options to continue with Manor" beyond the end of the season. The Spanish daily Marca, however, has heard otherwise.
The newspaper claims Californian GP2 driver Alexander Rossi, formerly a test driver with Marussia and Caterham, "has come up with the money" asked by Manor for a race seat. Marca said Rossi, 23, could even begin his duties this weekend in Singapore, starting with a Friday practice role in Merhi's seat. Rossi would then "definitely" be in the race seat next weekend in Japan, correspondent Pablo Juanarena claimed.
More should be known in Singapore on Thursday, when Merhi is scheduled to attend the official FIA press conference. Rossi is currently second in the GP2 standings, having won two races including recently at Monza. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing