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F1 newcomer Roberto Merhi waiting on FIA superlicence decision

Roberto Merhi believes that his performance during Italian Grand Prix practice for Caterham at Monza on Friday could determine if he is granted a Formula 1 superlicence by the FIA

AUTOSPORT understands that the Formula Renault 3.5 frontrunner was a contender for an F1 race seat with Caterham at Monza had he been able to get a full superlicence.

He said his superlicence situation could depend on whether he stayed out of trouble during his Friday running.

"At the moment it looks like they'll let me do free practice one and then let's see for the future," Merhi told reporters in the Monza paddock.

"If everything goes well then I think it's not a problem, but if it goes wrong it will be a problem, I guess."

Roberto Merhi's complete career statistics on FORIX

The 23-year-old Spaniard admitted that judging how to handle his Friday morning chance was tough.

"Tomorrow is a hard situation. You need to be proving that you are a really good driver and you have to build up your confidence in the car, but you have just one hour and a half," he said.

"You have two sets of new tyres and you're using one straightaway and then one half an hour later.

"You cannot really drive for a long time and then put one on at the last minute. That would be better.

"But you need to show that you have consistent laptimes, that you can make steps during your free practice session, and to give good feedback to the team."

RACE SEAT CHANCES UNKNOWN

Asked if he expected to race in the next GP in Singapore if he could get the licence, Merhi replied: "I don't know yet.

"At the moment the plan is to do FP1 to see how it goes and see how much I can learn about the car and F1.

"Then we will see what is going on and what the next target is.

"But Singapore is quite a tough place to do a first race, so many corners and in the night."

Merhi added that the did not currently have any financial backing to bring to Caterham.

"At the moment, no. The team called me to just meet them in England and I went there and then I did a few simulator runs and was pretty OK," he said.

"Then they invited me to Spa, and now I am here."

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