No F1 super license may mean no Monza debut for Merhi

Roberto Merhi

Roberto Merhi

Spaniard Roberto Merhi is only waiting on his Formula 1 super license before receiving the green light to make his grand prix debut next weekend at Monza.

Since he was a guest of the team at Spa-Francorchamps, it has emerged that the DTM and Formula Renault 3.5 driver is next in line to drive ousted Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham, following Andre Lotterer’s one-off outing.

According to the Spanish sports daily Marca, 23-year-old Merhi has the necessary €300,000 to pay Caterham’s new management, headed now by Colin Kolles and Christijan Albers.

Correspondent Marco Canseco said Merhi is only now waiting on the FIA’s decision about granting him the mandatory Formula 1 license.

The driver told Marca that, when a request for a super license is made to the FIA, it is granted in “99 per cent of cases when a team asks”.

However, the FIA usually requires that drivers granted licences are new champions in major categories, or have completed a 300 kilometre Formula 1 test. Merhi, albeit the European F3 champion of 2011, fails in those respects.

He admitted: “It’s not 100 per cent sure that I’ll race at Monza, but the chances are good depending on getting the super license on time.

“I’m focused on getting the (Renault) world series title but if I can be in Formula 1 it would be a nice prize, although it’s not a priority for this season,” said Merhi. (GMM)