Manor thrilled as Roberto Merhi finishes Malaysian GP

2 Comments

Simply finishing a grand prix may not seem like a great achievement to some, but for Manor Marussia F1 Team, it meant the world as Roberto Merhi took the checkered flag in the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Following a winter of uncertainty, the ex-Marussia operation was saved thanks to fresh investment, allowing the team to get out on track for the first time in practice on Friday.

Despite failing to finish inside the 107% time required to qualify, the race stewards gave Manor drivers Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens permission to race on Sunday.

Stevens failed to make the start following a fuel system problem on his car, but Merhi produced a fine display to finish the race, with the 53-lap run being the longest that the team has managed by far.

“I’m so happy for the team,” Merhi said. “P15 is not only a great result from today’s race, but also a huge reward for a fantastic effort over the past few months. I’m really proud of us.

“Coming into the weekend we knew things would not be easy; we had to work very hard and stay focused every step of the way. We missed out on some of our targets but in the end it was the race that mattered and we brought the car home with a full race distance.

“That was my main objective, as the information we now have is so important for our development, but it’s good to know that we got a good result along the way and finished ahead of some of the other teams.”

Team principal John Booth echoed Merhi’s sentiments, believing that it was a just reward for the team after all of its work over the winter.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to see the checkered flag today,” Booth said. “We’ve had to overcome some massive hurdles in a very short space of time, so everyone is pretty emotional this afternoon.

“This result is just reward for an incredible amount of hard work and determination from a fantastic team of people.”

Manor will now be hoping to carry this form into the next race in China, where we will hopefully see both of its cars on the grid and racing.

Juncos Racing to field single car entry in Indy 500

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Part-time NTT IndyCar Series entrant Juncos Racing will announce their attempt to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 within the next few weeks, according to RACER.

The team, which made its Indy 500 debut in 2017, ran 12 of the 17 IndyCar Series races last season, but has only made a start in one of the four events so far in 2019, finishing 18th in the inaugural running of the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel.

Though no driver has yet to be announced for the single-car entry, Kaiser is expected to be the leading candidate for the ride. The 23-year-old Californian has raced for the team since 2014, where he won the 2017 Indy Lights championship.

One of the top teams in the Road to Indy ladder system, Juncos Racing has over 50 wins between Indy Lights and Indy Pro 2000 competition. The team’s most recent victory came in the second Indy Lights race at St. Petersburg this year with Rinus VeeKay behind the wheel.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter