Racing penalised cars a balancing act, says Manor F1's Will Stevens

Manor Formula 1 driver Will Stevens says he does his utmost to race hard against drivers from larger teams with grid penalties rather than simply capitulating

Racing penalised cars a balancing act, says Manor F1's Will Stevens

Although the Marussia-based Manor machine has been the slowest car on the 2015 F1 grid, Stevens and team-mate Roberto Merhi have had demoted drivers starting behind them at three of the last four grands prix - with further occurrences likely as struggling engine manufacturers rack up penalties.

Stevens admitted that there was a danger of compromising Manor's race by trying too hard against a faster car such as a penalised McLaren, but said he takes a "calculated risk" approach that also gives him a chance to make an impression.

"In all honesty it's really difficult to race them because at the moment they're obviously a lot quicker than we are," he said.

"We try our best to race them because at that point in time we're racing for position.

"It's a give and take. If we try and fight them too hard, in the long run we actually lose more time by doing that than we would by running our own race.

"You've got to use your head in situations like that and realise when you're fighting a losing battle, trying to keep people behind you who are obviously quicker.

"You're not going to let them past, but if they're in a place to overtake you then there's no point making it too difficult for them.

"We need to run our race and we need to achieve the best result that we can. To do that, we need to achieve the best race time that we can.

"If you can keep them behind without losing time then you would. If you were in a place like Monaco it's pretty easy to keep them behind because they won't get past."

He acknowledged that engine penalties giving him a chance of racing against world champions such as Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso had been a perk of his rookie season.

"You grow up watching these guys. You always think 'I'd like to be racing these guys, I wonder what it's like to race against them?'" Stevens said.

"I'm not afraid to race up against those guys and hopefully as the year goes on we're going to get closer and closer, and we will be in a position where we can start to race them if they're on different strategies."

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