Stevens out of Malaysia race with fuel issue

Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:00am EDT
 
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By John O'Brien

SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Manor Marussia withdrew British driver Will Stevens from the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix just an hour before the start on Sunday due to a fuel system problem.

"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 yesterday," the team said on Twitter.

The team, who emerged from administration only last month, 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 percent of the fastest car in the first phase of qualifying, both Merhi, who will start 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 Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 12 for his Manor debut.

(Editing by Alan Baldwin)