Roberto Merhi will be behind the wheel for the Manor Marussia team at the Australian Grand Prix after being handed the final position on the 2015 Formula One grid.
The 23-year-old is contracted to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series that gets under way next month, but will represent the British team at the race in Melbourne and potentially for some more of the opening rounds of the new F1 campaign.
Merhi will partner Will Stevens for the weekend’s racing after the team were cleared to compete this season following last week’s crash test.
The rookie has little experience in Formula One having only driven in three practice sessions for the now defunct Caterham team in 2014, but he did have an impressive first season in the 3.5 Series, finishing third in the overall standings and securing three race victories to boot.
Merhi is now excited to take the next step in his career and is determined to help the team continue to move in the right direction.
He said: “I am incredibly excited to be making my Formula 1 debut with Manor Marussia F1 Team in Melbourne this weekend. It is a big responsibility but I feel ready to make this step in my career and to show that I can make an important contribution to developing a team.”
Jordan King, who is the son of the team’s chairman Justin King has also been announced as the side’s new development driver and team principal John Booth admitted he was excited to work with young, potential stars of the future.
He revealed: “It is fantastic to welcome Roberto and Jordan to the team. Not only are they very talented young drivers with exciting futures ahead of them, they have also been ‘graduates’ of Manor Motorsport in the junior formulae.”