The Manor Marussia F1 Team has confirmed that former Formula 3 Euro Series champion Roberto Merhi will drive the team’s second car as Will Stevens’ teammate at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.
The 23-year-old Spaniard will make his Grand Prix race debut, having made three Friday practice outings for the now-defunct Caterham team during last year’s Italian, Japanese and Russian rounds.
The duration of Merhi’s deal is not yet known; Manor Marussia have confirmed via a brief statement that it is for the “opening rounds” of the season. Merhi had recently signed a deal to race for the Pons outfit in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series season.
“I am incredibly excited to be making my Formula 1 debut with Manor Marussia F1 Team in Melbourne this weekend,” Merhi said.
“It is a big responsibility but I feel ready to make this step in my career and to show that I can make an important contribution to developing a team.”
The team also named recently-appointed GP2 Series driver Jordan King as its development driver. King is the son of the former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King, who was recently announced as the team’s interim chairman.
The 21-year-old won the 2013 British Formula 3 Championship against a very thin field, and finished seventh overall in last year’s European F3 standings. He has signed to race with the Racing Engineering squad in this year’s GP2 Series championship, partnering former Marussia reserve driver Alexander Rossi.
“It is fantastic to welcome Roberto and Jordan to the team,” Manor Marussia team principal John Booth said.
“Not only are they very talented young drivers with exciting futures ahead of them, they have also been ‘graduates’ of Manor Motorsport in the junior formulae, which is obviously very rewarding for us, given that the development of young talent is an important part of our philosophy.”
Image via XPB Images