Rossi to replace Merhi

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Jenson's Understeer
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Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Jenson's Understeer »

As per Manor's Twitter:

We start our #SingaporeGP with the news that we have signed @AlexanderRossi as Race Driver for 5 of the 7 remaining rounds of the season.


That's... a little unexpected. I would guess the two rounds he won't be racing will be Sochi and Abu Dhabi where he would have GP2 commitments, so then maybe Merhi steps back in? Or somebody else entirely...
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by RaggedMan »

Jenson's Understeer wrote:As per Manor's Twitter:

We start our #SingaporeGP with the news that we have signed @AlexanderRossi as Race Driver for 5 of the 7 remaining rounds of the season.


That's... a little unexpected. I would guess the two rounds he won't be racing will be Sochi and Abu Dhabi where he would have GP2 commitments, so then maybe Merhi steps back in? Or somebody else entirely...

Wow! Both good and bad news I reckon. Good news that he gets some race seat time, bad news that it rarely goes well for replacement drivers.

Although it did work out well for Ricciardo at HRT.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by pokerman »

I remember though at the beginning of the season it was said that Merhi perhaps would not be a permanent driver, so with that in mind I was initially surprised he kept the seat for so long, then I guess we all presumed at this stage that he would see the season out?
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by moby »

pokerman wrote:I remember though at the beginning of the season it was said that Merhi perhaps would not be a permanent driver, so with that in mind I was initially surprised he kept the seat for so long, then I guess we all presumed at this stage that he would see the season out?


Did Merhi recently not announce that was giving up his feeder drive to concentrate on F1?

He must have talked it through with the team first?

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Honda Quick »

Definitely a bit unexpected. Not exactly how I had hoped to see Rossi come into the F1 mix, but beggers can't exactly be choosers in this sport. Honestly didn't concentrate on Merhi much; how was he doing?
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Nosebuckle »

Gotta love this as an American, although recent history suggests I'll probably want to keep the enthusiasm to myself.

Who is behind this? Haas has recently said that Rossi won't be one of his drivers next year and I'm not aware of anyone else who would want to see this happen. Either way, I'm thrilled to see F1 get some meaningful exposure in the states other than the USGP.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Jenson's Understeer »

moby wrote:
pokerman wrote:I remember though at the beginning of the season it was said that Merhi perhaps would not be a permanent driver, so with that in mind I was initially surprised he kept the seat for so long, then I guess we all presumed at this stage that he would see the season out?


Did Merhi recently not announce that was giving up his feeder drive to concentrate on F1?

He must have talked it through with the team first?


Yep, he recently ended his deal to race for Pons. To be fair, his FR3.5 season this year was hardly setting the world alight, but the fact he did so and was then dropped by Manor suggests he didn't know that was coming.

Nosebuckle wrote:Gotta love this as an American, although recent history suggests I'll probably want to keep the enthusiasm to myself.

Who is behind this? Haas has recently said that Rossi won't be one of his drivers next year and I'm not aware of anyone else who would want to see this happen. Either way, I'm thrilled to see F1 get some meaningful exposure in the states other than the USGP.


Everything Haas have said has appeared to rule Rossi out. But then again five races of experience, particularly if he stacks up well against Will Stevens (which he should, all being equal) might make them reconsider. Although it might simply be Manor looking at Rossi as a driver for 2016.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by owenmahamilton »

There were some rumours about Tavo Hellmund and another investor buying an existing team, maybe Manor are that team and are giving Manor some money to give Rossi a go to see how he gets on.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by kleefton »

Nosebuckle wrote:Gotta love this as an American, although recent history suggests I'll probably want to keep the enthusiasm to myself.

Who is behind this? Haas has recently said that Rossi won't be one of his drivers next year and I'm not aware of anyone else who would want to see this happen. Either way, I'm thrilled to see F1 get some meaningful exposure in the states other than the USGP.


Yes, it is good to have an American on the sport. But he must not embarrass himself. Let us see how he does against Stevens.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by j man »

Quite disappointed at this actually, after a shaky start Merhi has made some good progress this year and has been outperforming Stevens recently. I would have hoped he'd done enough to hold onto the seat but I'm guessing there's a financial incentive behind this.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by F1 MERCENARY »

I don't see how Rossi could possibly embarrass himself in anyway outside of being Badoer-esk bad which I don't think anyone is capable of.
Besides, the Marussia car is just marginally faster than what he's been driving all year so not too big a learning curve, if any.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by DaveStebbins »

j man wrote:Quite disappointed at this actually, after a shaky start Merhi has made some good progress this year and has been outperforming Stevens recently. I would have hoped he'd done enough to hold onto the seat but I'm guessing there's a financial incentive behind this.

I'm guessing it is money as well. I would guess that Merhi's backing ran out of funds and Rossi found some. I also agree that he has progressed during the season.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by RaggedMan »

Somebody needs to let John Booth know that Mexico is in North America.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by bourbon19 »

Um interesting. Well he is an American and I am happy we have a driver back in. And he is a fellow Californian and I am very happy about that. But I don't support drivers based on Nationality, so unless he is impressive, I'll just have an eye on him so I can discuss him with the locals. I do wish him all the best though. #sorrynotsorry

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Amon »

Of course he is not going to set the world alight in that car but if he can equal or even beat Stevens that might be good for his oppurtunities for next season. Maybe Haas might reconsider. How long is it ago we had an American driver in F1? Scott Speed in 2007, or did I miss someone?
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by nixxxon »

Mehri = no money
Rossi = money

Another sad case of "money rules" in F1.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Placid »

owenmahamilton wrote:There were some rumours about Tavo Hellmund and another investor buying an existing team, maybe Manor are that team and are giving Manor some money to give Rossi a go to see how he gets on.


My thoughts exactly. But is undetermined if Tavo may buy the team, partnering up with Manor, or possibly Tavo to fund Rossi.

We wonder how Grandpa Mario and the Indy Car paddock are reacting?

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by GPG »

Alexander Rossi will probably not set the world on fire in a Manor/Marussia, but I do like the idea of having an American driver on the grid again. I wish him the best and maybe he can impress enough people to secure a drive at Manor or Haas next season.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by mikeyg123 »

nixxxon wrote:Mehri = no money
Rossi = money

Another sad case of "money rules" in F1.


Not really. Rossi has had a junior career at least as good as Mehri's and all things being equal deserves a chance just as much.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by HawaiiF1Fan »

j man wrote:Quite disappointed at this actually, after a shaky start Merhi has made some good progress this year and has been outperforming Stevens recently. I would have hoped he'd done enough to hold onto the seat but I'm guessing there's a financial incentive behind this.



Yeah a bit bittersweet on this end.

I am glad to see Rossi have a seat as she should have had last year, but it's unfortunate it will come at the expense of Merhi as I felt he was doing the better job at Manor than Stevens.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by mds »

F1 MERCENARY wrote:Besides, the Marussia car is just marginally faster than what he's been driving all year so not too big a learning curve, if any.


Learning curve is loosely related to speed and probably far more to complexity. A GP2 car might not be that much slower than a Manor F1 but it is far less complex. Basically you get in a GP2 car and you drive it. Whereas you get in an F1 car, you need a proper and lengthy explanation of how to drive it, procedures, ...

Just compare GP2 and F1 strong wheels. Rather big difference.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by huggybear »

I'm pleased for Alex Rossi. Confused though, because Mehri is being bumped down to test/reserve driver, which would suggest it's not a funding issue that has caused this switch. If Mehri ran out of money surely they'd drop him with Leimer already on their books?

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Placid »

Alexander Rossi's prized ride was more than an accomplishment. He did this through 7 years of hard work. It was something that Bernie continues to ignore. Rossi has busted his chops, heart and soul just to get there. As long he can stay on the grid, then we can move for the next US hopeful.

A boost with the minimum requirement of 5 events and a 2nd place finish in GP2, that will be enough to secure his Super License. And with the possible switch to Mercedes, chances are good to score points.

It worked with Force India when they had Ferrari power on Force India's debut season before switching to Mercedes in 2009 and it resulted a score.

We wonder how proud Grandpa Mario (Andretti) and the entire Indy Car paddock is reacting?

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Covalent »

nixxxon wrote:Mehri = no money
Rossi = money

Another sad case of "money rules" in F1.

mikeyg123 wrote:
Not really. Rossi has had a junior career at least as good as Mehri's and all things being equal deserves a chance just as much.

huggybear wrote:I'm pleased for Alex Rossi. Confused though, because Mehri is being bumped down to test/reserve driver, which would suggest it's not a funding issue that has caused this switch. If Mehri ran out of money surely they'd drop him with Leimer already on their books?

Has he been that meh?

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Jenson's Understeer »

Placid wrote:Alexander Rossi's prized ride was more than an accomplishment. He did this through 7 years of hard work. It was something that Bernie continues to ignore. Rossi has busted his chops, heart and soul just to get there. As long he can stay on the grid, then we can move for the next US hopeful.


I'm sorry, but what? How is Alex Rossi's route to the F1 grid any more complex than the vast majority of other young drivers? Most of them go through the same process to try and make it to F1. And what does Bernie have to do with it?
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Blackhander »

It is unfortunate for Merhi, especially seeing as he hasn't been outperformed by his team mate at all. I've actually probably been ever so slightly more impressed by Merhi. But if I remember correctly his contact was only ever a temporary one, so he has probably been lucky to stay in the seat as long as he has.

It'll be a good opportunity to see how Rossi preforms in a race situation. Interesting race to be thrown into the deep end on.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Placid »

Just announced - Rossi has Herbie's number. only thing he needs is Herbie's ghost to posses his car.

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http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/3302 ... ar-number/

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by RaggedMan »

mds wrote:
F1 MERCENARY wrote:Besides, the Marussia car is just marginally faster than what he's been driving all year so not too big a learning curve, if any.


Learning curve is loosely related to speed and probably far more to complexity. A GP2 car might not be that much slower than a Manor F1 but it is far less complex. Basically you get in a GP2 car and you drive it. Whereas you get in an F1 car, you need a proper and lengthy explanation of how to drive it, procedures, ...

Just compare GP2 and F1 strong wheels. Rather big difference.

But he has done FP and test sessions in the last 2 years so he's not completely unfamiliar with a current F1 car so it shouldn't be a big problem for him.

The owner of Racing Engineering (his current GP2 team) got in on the comments of the Jalopnik article yesterday and had absolutely glowing things to say about him in terms of how he communicates with engineers in debriefs so I think he'll do alright.

We'll certainly know more in the next day or 2.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by egnat69 »

mds wrote:
F1 MERCENARY wrote:Besides, the Marussia car is just marginally faster than what he's been driving all year so not too big a learning curve, if any.


Learning curve is loosely related to speed and probably far more to complexity. A GP2 car might not be that much slower than a Manor F1 but it is far less complex. Basically you get in a GP2 car and you drive it. Whereas you get in an F1 car, you need a proper and lengthy explanation of how to drive it, procedures, ...

Just compare GP2 and F1 strong wheels. Rather big difference.

well... i thin procedures are a thing that they can train on the sim or even by memorizing stuff, surely... i do see your point but i would think things have changed quite a lot in the last 2 years... gp2 and gp3 cars have basically been f1 cars left in the dryer for too long... N/A V8s, open cockpit, open wheel, shift paddles, DRS... all there... now, they are substentially different... torque delivery, shift timing, behaviour under braking (with that drive-by-wire thingy) all must (i imagine) be massively different now.. there is no need to go to the rev limit for maximum power in f1 anymore...

yes, there is much more work to be done... engine modes, charging modes, mappings, lots of stuff i don't even want to think about... but i think those guys can get used to it quickly and they have ways to train that... but the driving style and feeling of an f1 car must differ much more now from gp2/3 than it did until 2013...
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by nixxxon »

mikeyg123 wrote:
nixxxon wrote:Mehri = no money
Rossi = money

Another sad case of "money rules" in F1.


Not really. Rossi has had a junior career at least as good as Mehri's and all things being equal deserves a chance just as much.

Notice that Merhi has been one of few professional drivers to have a career for himself WITHOUT any significant sponsorship. He only had a wealthy parents (but not THAT wealthy) to help him in his first years.
So thats why I remarked the Money/No money issue
I'm not saying Rossi isnt talented, but he has money.

I dont know how many drivers rose to the top without big sponsorship behind, but I know Alonso was one of the very few of them too.

Covalent wrote:Has he been that meh?

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by -ZeroGravityToilet- »

RaggedMan wrote:Somebody needs to let John Booth know that Mexico is in North America.


Indeed...
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Talk about preconceptions...

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by paulsf1fix »

It'll be interesting to see how Rossi goes, I'm interested to see if he out-qualifies Stevens & be good if he out races him too. Whatever happens this weekend I hope he does all right.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by pokerman »

paulsf1fix wrote:It'll be interesting to see how Rossi goes, I'm interested to see if he out-qualifies Stevens & be good if he out races him too. Whatever happens this weekend I hope he does all right.

Well Stevens was never a major league junior star, neither was Merhi for that matter, so I think Rossi will do ok.
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Placid »

paulsf1fix wrote:It'll be interesting to see how Rossi goes, I'm interested to see if he out-qualifies Stevens & be good if he out races him too. Whatever happens this weekend I hope he does all right.

And what about this? Let's see if Rossi can do the impossible - survive Q1.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by mcdo »

I was interested to see what Rossi could do in F1 but maybe not in this manner
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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

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mcdo wrote:I was interested to see what Rossi could do in F1 but maybe not in this Manor

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Paolo_Lasardi »

pokerman wrote:
paulsf1fix wrote:It'll be interesting to see how Rossi goes, I'm interested to see if he out-qualifies Stevens & be good if he out races him too. Whatever happens this weekend I hope he does all right.

Well Stevens was never a major league junior star, neither was Merhi for that matter, so I think Rossi will do ok.


Isn't Merhi's junior record better than Rossi's?

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by mikeyg123 »

Paolo_Lasardi wrote:
pokerman wrote:
paulsf1fix wrote:It'll be interesting to see how Rossi goes, I'm interested to see if he out-qualifies Stevens & be good if he out races him too. Whatever happens this weekend I hope he does all right.

Well Stevens was never a major league junior star, neither was Merhi for that matter, so I think Rossi will do ok.


Isn't Merhi's junior record better than Rossi's?


Merhi's is slightly better, Rossi's will become better if he gets a top three finish in the GP2 championship.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

Post by Covalent »

Placid wrote:
paulsf1fix wrote:It'll be interesting to see how Rossi goes, I'm interested to see if he out-qualifies Stevens & be good if he out races him too. Whatever happens this weekend I hope he does all right.

And what about this? Let's see if Rossi can do the impossible - survive Q1.

What's there to see if it's impossible? And I've seen many drivers survive Q1 (whatever that means) so it's not impossible at all.

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Re: Rossi to replace Merhi

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Covalent wrote:
Placid wrote:
paulsf1fix wrote:It'll be interesting to see how Rossi goes, I'm interested to see if he out-qualifies Stevens & be good if he out races him too. Whatever happens this weekend I hope he does all right.

And what about this? Let's see if Rossi can do the impossible - survive Q1.

What's there to see if it's impossible? And I've seen many drivers survive Q1 (whatever that means) so it's not impossible at all.

I think he meant get into Q2. If he manages that it'll mean both McLarens blew up and Pastor took out himself and both Saubers.
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