MERHI PROVES HIS QUALITY WITH F3 MASTERS FIGHTBACK AT ZANDVOORT Manor Motorsport's Roberto Merhi produced an impressive performance during the blue riband Tango Masters of Formula 3 race at Zandvoort in the Netherlands on Sunday, 14th June, the...
MERHI PROVES HIS QUALITY WITH F3 MASTERS FIGHTBACK AT ZANDVOORT
Manor Motorsport's Roberto Merhi produced an impressive performance during the blue riband Tango Masters of Formula 3 race at Zandvoort in the Netherlands on Sunday, 14th June, the young Spaniard recovering well after being forced wide on lap one.
Ending the race, the biggest and most prestigious F3 outing on the European calendar, in a highly creditable 10th place, Merhi had to mount a terrific fightback but he did so in great style and posted the fourth fastest lap of the race in the process, even with a damaged car.
Lining up third on the grid thanks to a qualifying time of 1m31.538 seconds, the 18-year-old was initially well placed to challenge for a podium finish for his Dinnington-based squad. Not getting away from the grid as well as he would have liked, Merhi was then tagged from behind and forced wide at the first corner.
Struggling with a damaged Dallara chassis, the Manor ace fell as low as 16th place at one point but mounted a tremendous fightback and was into the top 10 by lap 14 where he remained to the chequered flag on lap 25.
Pedro Enrique Nunes raced well to claim 20th position, from 26th on the grid, while fellow Brazilian Cesar Ramos ended the encounter in 28th place having slipped one position from his starting slot. Manor also fielded a fourth car for Italian driver Francesco Castellacci and he finished two spots behind team-mate Ramos.
Reflecting on the weekend, Manor Motorsport team principal John Booth said: "Roberto showed his class with a great comeback after being forced wide at the first corner. He fell a long way down the order but battled back well into the top 10, even with damage to his car.
"Pedro had a good drive to 20th and our other two lads, Cesar and Francesco, didn't do a bad job either. It was unfortunate we weren't able to fight for the podium as Roberto definitely had the pace to do that."
Manor Motorsport's next track action will come a fortnight from now, 27th/28th June, with the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2009 Formula 3 Euroseries taking place at the Norisring, in Nuremberg, Germany.