Red Bull Ring FR3.5: F1 racer Roberto Merhi excluded over big crash

Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi has been excluded from both Red Bull Ring Formula Renault 3.5 races for triggering a huge crash in race one

Red Bull Ring FR3.5: F1 racer Roberto Merhi excluded over big crash

Pons Racing's Spaniard was involved in a frightening accident shortly after taking the chequered flag on Sunday morning, when his slowing car was rear-ended at high speed by Arden racer Nicholas Latifi.

Both cars sustained heavy damage in the violent impact.

The decision by race officials means that Merhi will be unable to take up his front row starting position for race two, which is scheduled to take place at 6.20pm local time.

Pons team manager Emilio de Villota Jr told AUTOSPORT: "I don't think it is really my place to comment on the stewards' decision.

"It is up to the driver or his management company if they want to say something, and right now Roberto is not ready to speak.

"It is tough on the team as we have two damaged cars to repair now [after second driver Meindert van Buuren was involved in a three-car opening lap crash].

"Our focus now switches to working for Meindert. He is starting from sixth this afternoon so we hope he can achieve a good result."

Rival teams were critical of Merhi's actions in the opening race, citing that drivers had been warned in the briefing not to slow too much after the finish, but to wait until Turn 1.

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Red Bull Ring FR3.5: Rowland dominant, F1 racer Merhi in huge crash

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Red Bull Ring FR3.5: Exclusion 'excessive' - F1 racer Roberto Merhi
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