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Deletraz, de Vries, Merhi in New Seats For Belgium

Fitting into new surroundings will be a theme of the Belgian Formula 2 round as three drivers find themselves with different teams.

Monaco Sprint winner Nyck de Vries moves to Racing Engineering to partner Gustav Malja.

The McLaren junior racer has finished on the podium four times since graduating from GP3 and is in eighth in the drivers’ championship with 72 points.

“Perhaps this move is a surprise in the middle of the season, but I am very excited to join Racing Engineering,” he said. “We have been in touch since 2015, and it is great to finally get the chance to work together as they have a very high level of professionalism and a great track record. I hope we will be able to turn around their momentum and score the successes they have always had.”

Louis Deletraz swaps with the Dutchman, going to Rapax, where Roberto Merhi joins him for the weekend.

Deletraz claimed his only point last time out in Hungary’s feature after a post-race penalty. He has completed all-but-one event, outqualified Malja 4-3, but the Swede outperformed him 8-4 in the 12 races they have both finished and scored 27 more points.

Sergio Canamasas – who has been at the team since moving from Trident for Austria – said on Twitter that he is currently having ‘personal issues’ preventing him from competing.

Merhi previously made his F2 debut in Spain for Campos, having a best result of 12th in the sprint contest.

EMAIL CAMERON AT @cpatersonf1@gmail.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @PatersonCameron

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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F2 Open Wheel

Merhi Set for F2 Debut at Barcelona

Former Manor Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi will make his first Formula 2 starts this weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Spanish racer replaces Stefano Coletti at Campos, who suffers ‘unexpected family issues’ after the team said he would race. He partners Ralph Boschung to pilot the No. 12 entry.

Coletti competed in the first two events of 2017 in Bahrain, being out-qualified and beaten by rookie Boschung in the feature event.

A partnership between Merhi and Campos isn’t new as the team said two months ago they were trying to reach a deal.

Merhi even took part in a pre-season test at Barcelona, completing 145 laps and finishing 19th overall. Only Trident’s Nabil Jeffri set a slower time over three days.

This move continues a sporadic career path after also racing in Formula Renault 3.5, British Formula 3, Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix, Stock Car Brazil and World Endurance Championship in the last three years.

He is the first competitor from Spain to represent the Valencians since Adrian Valles and Felix Porteiro raced in 2006. Campos has not used three in one year since 2014 when Alexander Rossi replaced Kimiya Sato in a one-off at Hockenheim to partner Arthur Pic.

EMAIL CAMERON AT @cpatersonf1@gmail.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @PatersonCameron

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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F2 Open Wheel

Merhi and Campos Working to Arrange F2 Seat

A shocking name could enter the Formula 2 grid after Campos Racing announced its plans for a possible second driver for their 2017 driver line-up.

Campos and former Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi are working on arranging a deal for the Spanish driver to race in the series in 2017.

Merhi will test its F2 car during the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on March 13-15 alongside their confirmed race driver Ralph Boschung.

The 25-year-old has had a nomadic past in racing in recent years, winning the European Formula Three championship in 2011 and finishing third in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2013 before making 14 F1 Grand Prix starts for Manor Marussia in 2015.

Merhi was eventually replaced by Alexander Rossi for five of the final seven races of that season. Rossi is the last driver to have raced in F1 and then return to the second tier of the junior ladder, missing the Russian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix to finish his 2015 year with Racing Engineering on his way to second in the Drivers’ Championship.

The Spaniard achieved his best result of 12th place at the 2015 British Grand Prix, scoring no points during his brief time in the sport.

He also raced eight times in the Formula Renault 3.5 series for Pons Racing during that season before being banned for two races for a dramatic incident in Austria where he slowed at the start-finish. Now-GP2 driver Nicholas Latifi crashed into the rear of his car, flipping while traveling across from the right-hand side of the straight to the left.

The last series Merhi competed in was the World Endurance Championship in sportscars with the Manor team in 2016, racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time.

EMAIL CAMERON AT @cpatersonf1@gmail.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @PatersonCameron

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.