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2015-03-29 09:45

BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME: Manor Marussia driver Will Stevens will have to wait for the next race to make his Formula 1 debut for the team after being withdrawn from the 2015 Malaysian GP. Image: Twitter

SEPANG, Malaysia - Manor Marussia has withdrawn its driver Will Stevens from the Malaysian GP just an hour before the race start on Sunday due to a fuel system problem.

The team said on Twitter: "Sadly Will is unable to start today's race as we have not been able to get on top of the fuel system problem from Saturday."

FAILURE TO START

The team, who emerged from administration only in February 2015, failed to turn a wheel in the Australian season-opener in Melbourne two weeks ago but Stevens and Spanish team mate Roberto Merhi finally made it on track in Malaysia.

Both cars were well off the pace in practice and Stevens was unable to participate in qualifying on Saturday due to the problem that ultimately prevented him from racing.

Despite failing to clock times within 107% of the fastest car in the first phase of qualifying, both Merhi, who had started 19th and last on the grid, and Stevens were permitted to start by stewards.

Stevens, who raced in the 2014 season-ender in Abu Dhabi with now defunct Caterham, had been due to start in 20th place. He will now have to wait until the Chinese GP in Shanghai on April 12 for his Manor debut.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.

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