Merhi not responding at Alonso's 'aeroplane' quote

  • Published on 19 Oct 2015 16:45
  • comments 1
  • By: Kees Schooneman

Roberto Merhi has refused to criticise countryman Fernando Alonso for mocking the British backmarker Manor.

With Manor switching to Mercedes power for 2016, a cheeky Alonso recently ridiculed at notion that the F1 minnow might actually beat McLaren-Honda next year.

"With total respect for Manor," the Spaniard said, "I think they can put in an aeroplane engine and they will not be much further (up)."

Manor hit back on Twitter, scoffing that the team and Alonso can "discuss it when we're garage neighbours next year".

But declining to join any criticism of Alonso's comments is Merhi, the Spanish rookie whose season has been interrupted by Manor's mid-year signing of Alexander Rossi.

"Well, I didn't know that Fernando said that," Merhi told Spain's El Confidencial in an interview.

"Yes, it is true that we have some aerodynamic issues and also not much mechanical grip. We lack grip. It is very difficult to drive our car."

Merhi, 24, admitted that it has even been difficult to maintain his motivation at times in 2015, when blue flags are waving throughout every race.

"Honestly, when you do races like that, and then another and then another, from the fourth, fifth, sixth it does become quite a tiring situation," he said.

"It is a shame we cannot fight with the others. I have had to try my best to be in front of my teammate, but so far I have not had a car like (Will) Stevens has had."

Merhi will sit out Austin, Mexico and Brazil, but will return to the cockpit in Abu Dhabi while Californian Rossi rounds out his season in GP2.

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  • I dont like how Alonso was so overconfident, but I am inclined to agree that they wont be ahead of McLaren next year for several reasons: the Ferrari engine Manor used this is supposedly stronger than Honda's PU, yet we havent seen the two making any honest battles, even on tracks more focused on power. And next year's Manor will be a completely new car, while McLaren just need to upgrade stuff on their current package. McLaren's chassis is all around better and has greater aero potential. Add some more power, and it'll be no way for Manor to catch up to them. I'd be more concerned how Red Bulls teams and Lotus/Renault will be positioned next year, the longer they prolong this mess, the worse it'll be for them next year.

    • + 0
    • Oct 19 2015 - 18:03
    • khasmir

      Posts: 893

      Manor have been working on next year's car for quite a while and with a 2016 Merc PU deal in place they could make a huge leap forward. Also considering this year's car was a hastily modified version of their 2014 car with a 2014 Ferrari PU. Considering the problems for McLaren, Lotus, RB and TR these teams will have to work hard if they don't want to end up behind Manor.

      • + 0
      • Oct 21 2015 - 22:49

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  • Country Spain
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (42)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, Spain
  • Weight 68 kg
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