Merhi keeps Manor seat for Monaco image

May 19 (GMM/ Manor is heading into the Monaco grand prix with an unchanged driver lineup.

There has been speculation that, as Roberto Merhi does not bring significant sponsorship, his race-by-race deal with the former Marussia team could end now.

The 24-year-old rookie remains committed to his Formula Renault 3.5 team Pons, and this weekend in Monaco, the series’ latest race clashes with F1 on the very same famous street circuit.

Marca, the Spanish sports daily, reports that so far in 2015, Manor has given priority to its paying driver Will Stevens when it comes to “parts and strategy”.

Spaniard Merhi, on the other hand, is paid mainly in the form of his airfares and hotels, Marca claimed.

But it has emerged that, ahead of Monaco, Merhi has been offered the F1 seat once again and he will therefore sit out the Formula Renault 3.5 race weekend.

“Roberto Merhi was confirmed as a regular for Manor,” Pons confirmed, “so he won’t be able to compete in both” races this weekend.

“Roberto will join the team for the Spa Francorchamps race,” the Formula Renault 3.5 team added, referring to the May 31 weekend, which does not clash with a grand prix.