Merhi targets 'paid-driver' status

© XPB 

Roberto Merhi's main ambition in 2016 is to be paid to race, regardless of the category although the Spaniard remains focused on extending his career in Formula 1, even if it entails taking a step back and accepting a role as a test driver.

Merhi languished at the tail end of the field last year with Manor, racing alongside team mate Will Stevens who pretty much had the upper hand against the Spaniard who also relinquished his spot in the minnow outfit for five races to US driver Alexander Rossi.

Merhi will battle to remain in single-seaters but wishes for and foremost to be paid to drive.

"The target now is to be a professional racing driver and race in something where you can stay and without worrying if next race I'll be in the car or not," he admitted.

"I think the year went well and I would love to continue after the results I had in the past and now. I think I belong in single-seaters and not in something with a roof.

"My target is to continue with single-seaters.

"I'm trying to see what we can do for next year. At the moment we are looking at some options. In Formula 1 there are a few options and outside there are a few options. It's quite hard out there."

Merhi accepted that a test driver role could suit his interests, but only if it was linked with a top team.

"If it's a really good team, yes. Because in a good team you can do so many things and you have a simulator and you can test other cars. That's also an option."

Should a seat in F1 remain unavailable for him, the 24-year-old is willing to travel to potentially greener pastures, with Indycar as a possible venue to be explored.

"I quite like the Indy car. They are quick. The only thing is they are a bit too heavy, but they have massive downforce and I think it would be nice to drive it. It’s similar to a FR3.5 car or something like that."

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