Manor trio in frame for 2016 drives - Booth

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Manor team principal John Booth says the trio of Will Stevens, Roberto Merhi and Alexander Rossi are all in the frame for a race seat with the team in 2016.

A seat at Manor has become more attractive since the announcement of a Mercedes power unit deal for next year, with the team also set to have a Williams rear end on the car. With Rossi joining ahead of Singapore and racing in five of the final seven races, Manor currently has three race drivers on its books and Booth told F1i all three have a chance of retaining a seat next year.

“Yep, we are very pleased with them all. Every time they have been in the car they have done a outstanding job. Particularly Roberto [in Sochi], he took his chance. He’s been out of the car for Singapore and Japan and took his chance there very well.”

Following Merhi’s 13th place in Russia, Booth says further commercial backing for the Spaniard would be welcome but not is not essential.

“That’s a difficult one to answer to be honest. It’s not like he’s the only one, either, there’s three very good Spanish drivers out there [on the grid] and a lot more. It’s difficult for all drivers at the moment I think. All teams outside the top four or five have to take a commercial deal on almost every appointment they make so it’s pretty tough for them.”

And Booth hopes Rossi’s appearance in next weekend’s United States Grand Prix will help him secure more backing, adding: “I think he’s catching people’s eye isn’t he, and Austin is going to be massive. I hope he behaves himself!”

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