Malaysian GP: Manor's Roberto Merhi, Will Stevens cleared to race

Manor Formula 1 duo Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi will be allowed to race in the Malaysian Grand Prix despite failing to set fast enough times in qualifying

Malaysian GP: Manor's Roberto Merhi, Will Stevens cleared to race

Stevens was unable to run at all because of a fuel system problem, while Merhi's best lap was 0.4 seconds adrift of the 107 per cent of the fastest Q1 time that is required.

However, with both drivers having produced laps at other times over the weekend that were within the 107 per cent limit, the stewards have allowed both of them into the race.

An FIA statement confirmed the drivers would be allowed to compete because they had "set satisfactory times in practice at this event."

According to team principal John Booth, it was Mercedes deciding to run mediums in Q1 that cost Merhi the chance to simply qualify within 107 per cent.

"I said before that we would be alright provided Mercedes don't put mediums on. And lo and behold... I still don't know why they did it," he told AUTOSPORT.

"Don't forget, [our drivers] are rookies and this is their first test for us. The way we've had to structure the weekend with short runs, we haven't given them much track time.

"I think they have done an incredible job, the pair of them."

Booth added that the goal was to now get the cars to the finish.

"I see no reason why we shouldn't. But the position we are in, there are a lot of things catching us by surprise."

Merhi will start from 19th on the grid, while Stevens will line up 20th.

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Malaysian GP qualifying press conference

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