READY TO RACE: Roberto Merhi smiles for fans on his way to the Manor garage to prepare for the Australian F1 GP. Image: AFP / Paul Crock
MELBOURNE, Australia - The Manor Marussia Formula 1 team was unsure if it would make it to the starting grid for season-opening 2015 Australian GP after sitting out Friaday's (March 13) practice sessions.
The team struggled to get its cars to Australia for the opening race and were unable to field them on the Albert Park track due to software problem.
Team principal John Booth said: "We have had to overcome numerous hurdles to get to the Australian Grand Prix, but the challenge did not end with our arrival in Melbourne.
"This is effectively our first day of testing, and as we all know that is a less than straightforward experience for any team.
"The systems required to operate these cars are incredibly complex and this is the first time we have been able to begin the process of getting all the various elements of our operation and car package talking to each other."
Booth conceded that the team were dealing with lots of different problems and time was running out for them ahead of Saturday's (March 14) official qualifying session.
He said: "We are steadily working through that checklist and while it is disappointing that we haven't been able to get the cars out in today's free practice sessions, we are racers and will do our utmost to compete for all our fans and the people supporting us."
Manor will be starting the season with a revised 2014 car, tweaked to meet 2015 safety regulations, and 2014's Ferrari power unit.
The team only finalised its line-up earlier in March, with Roberto Merhi to make his Formula 1 race debut alongside Will Stevens in Melbourne, would compete in the opening rounds of the season.
He said: "With the challenges we've faced over the past few weeks, that in itself is a fantastic achievement. It was never going to be an easy task to get the cars out on track for the first time.
"We've had no pre-season testing, so we're having to experience those challenges here in the field in a race weekend context."
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