Roberto Merhi would rather race in GP3 than be an F1 reserve driver

Roberto Merhi says he would rather race in GP3 than be a third or reserve driver in Formula 1 next year

Roberto Merhi would rather race in GP3 than be an F1 reserve driver

Merhi's future in F1 beyond this season is currently in limbo as the Spaniard is waiting to see if Manor will retain him.

That would appear to be unlikely given the 24-year-old has been dropped for five of the final seven races of the current campaign in favour of Alexander Rossi.

Having missed the Singapore and Japanese races, Merhi returned in Russia, where Rossi focused on GP2, and he will sit out the next three before returning for the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Merhi has made it clear he has no intention of being a back-up in 2016.

"For me it's really boring to go to a track but not be driving the car," he told Autosport.

"To be only a third driver is not what I'm looking for. I hate going to a track and not driving.

"I'd rather drive a GP3 car than be a third driver in Formula 1 and not drive because [racing something else] is much more fun. At least you are driving."

With a new chassis, Mercedes engine and Williams transmission, Merhi acknowledges that a 2016 Manor seat would be a big step up from the team's current situation.

Wolff backs Manor to step up in 2016

"The Mercedes engine is going to be a big improvement. Depending on the track the car could be up to two seconds faster," he said.

"We've also a new gearbox. Everything will help. It's a combination of things that will make the car much more competitive.

"Manor next year is going to be in a much better position for scoring points than this year, and that increases my desire to be with the team.

"This year has been a strange situation knowing you are only fighting your team-mate, but I think next year Manor will fight a lot of cars, and hopefully it's much better.

Merhi contested half of the Formula Renault 3.5 season alongside his Manor duties this year, and he admits looking beyond F1 is "an option".

"We need to still look here [in F1] for next year, but I'm open-minded," said Merhi.

"There are so many other categories that are interesting like WEC and IndyCar, which are the two most attractive series outside of F1.

"In World Endurance it's a great championship and the cars are really quick.

"At the moment my manager is looking at what is the best for next year."

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