Manor set to start in Malaysia

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Published: Saturday 28th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Manor team principal John Booth concedes his marque “have a lot of work to do” after their weekend was saved by the Malaysian Grand Prix stewards.

After emerging from administration in February and being forced to sit out the season-opening race in Australia due to IT infrastructure woes, the South Yorkshire-based team will race in Malaysia.

However, rookie Roberto Merhi failed to set a time within the 107 per cent rule for qualifying, whilst team-mate Will Stevens did not even take to the track due to a fuel system issue.

The stewards, though, granted both drivers dispensation to take part in the race at the Sepang International Circuit due to them setting “satisfactory times in practice”.

Manor’s return to competitive action was always going to be an uphill struggle, and so it has proven, with Merhi and Stevens some way off the pace of those cars directly ahead of them.

Assessing the situation, Booth said: “We knew our first weekend of running would not be without its challenges.

“Although we had a positive day on Friday, it has been important to keep our expectations for qualifying in check.

“Our two drivers have done a solid job and Friday’s practice showed promise in terms of having the pace for the 107 per cent time.

“But today underlined we have a lot of work to do.”

Essex-born Stevens has now attended two grands prix with Manor, but has yet to take part in qualifying.

Being in the race, however, at least affords Manor and the drivers the opportunity to make progress.

“Obviously I was very disappointed not to take part in qualifying,” said Stevens.

“In FP3 we had a fuel system problem and we were trying to resolve that, but sadly we weren’t able to get on top of it in time for me to take part.

“Looking at the positives, as we always try to do, the practice sessions showed promise and my times were within the 107 per cent throughout Friday.

“Step by step we’ll get there.”

Published: Saturday 28th March 2015 by The News Editor

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