Roberto Merhi insists he has Caterham F1 race deal for Abu Dhabi GP

Roberto Merhi believes he has a valid contract to make his Formula 1 race debut with Caterham in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Roberto Merhi insists he has Caterham F1 race deal for Abu Dhabi GP

The 23-year-old Spaniard has made three Friday practice appearances for the team and had already been in the running for a race shot earlier in the season.

Merhi's father Roberto Merhi Sr told AUTOSPORT that there was an agreement in place for his son to race if either Marcus Ericsson or Kamui Kobayashi could not, and Ericsson recently announced he had terminated his Caterham contract ahead of a move to Sauber in 2015.

"I have heard stories that the receiver Finbarr O Connell [of Smith and Williamson] has contacted people, or several people have contacted him," Merhi Sr said.

"They should know what's going on, because we have a contract that says if any of the main drivers can't run, Roberto should be driving.

"They are in receivership, but receivership doesn't mean that things have to change. Receivership is paying people, but receivership does not change activity, or it shouldn't change activity.

"If there is a contract, they have got to obey the contract, and maybe be bound by it.

"The team say they are going to race. I have heard some funny news about [who might be in the car]."

Audi World Endurance Championship driver Andre Lotterer said in Bahrain this weekend that he had been approached by Caterham about Abu Dhabi but was unsure whether to accept the offer.

Caterham has missed the last two grands prix in the United States and Brazil after it went into administration, but it announced on Friday that it would race in Abu Dhabi following a crowdfunding initiative.

Merhi, the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series champion, was a title contender in Formula Renault 3.5 this year as he returned to single-seaters after two seasons in the DTM.

He also finished fourth in this weekend's Macau F3 Grand Prix.

His father is confident Merhi has proved in his Caterham practice runs that he is ready for F1.

"I think Monza did Roberto a lot of good," he said.

"Everyone knew he had never driven a Formula 1 car or had driven on those tyres, and he goes to Monza and is quicker [than Ericsson]; the same in Sochi when it was a new track for everyone."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton: Points lead 'zero comfort' in F1 2014 title battle

Previous article

Lewis Hamilton: Points lead 'zero comfort' in F1 2014 title battle

Next article

Andre Lotterer turns down Caterham F1 team's Abu Dhabi GP offer

Andre Lotterer turns down Caterham F1 team's Abu Dhabi GP offer
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021