May 26 (GMM/ Roberto Merhi looks to be cementing his place at the Manor team.

In the days before Monaco, team chiefs were still admitting that the Spaniard might at some point be unseated.

Unlike his full-time teammate Will Stevens, Spaniard Merhi is not substantially sponsored, with some reports saying he has been paid only with his airfares and hotels around the F1 calendar so far.

But the 24-year-old rookie has also struggled to keep up with Briton Stevens.

At Monaco, however, Merhi was delighted to have finally beaten his teammate.

“As soon as I went past Stevens, I managed to open a big advantage of more than a minute over him.

“I hope this is a turning point in the season,” he told Spanish reporters, “as being ahead of my teammate at this circuit where the driver matters more was very important.”

Manor and Stevens clarified that Stevens suffered early front wing damage on Sunday.

But the former Marussia team also seems happy to keep Merhi in his place for now, even though the Spaniard is heading straight from Monaco to Spa for the next round of the Formula Renault 3.5 season.

“The past few races have been tough but it feels like everything is coming together now,” Merhi agreed.

“Canada will be a new and different experience again but it feels like we are making good progress now.”