El Confidencial, a Spanish newspaper, says the 24-year-old has been busily preparing for 2016, even though he lost his full-time Manor seat to the better-funded Alexander Rossi late last season.
“I have been swimming, running, cycling. In February I will do some karting,” he is quoted as saying.
But it is in February that his old F1 rivals will be eagerly shaping up to return to their cockpits, for eight days of pre-season testing prior to the first race in Melbourne.
Backmarker Manor has confirmed that it will be at the opening test in Barcelona.
When asked about the possibility that his F1 adventure will continue this year, Merhi said: “It’s not closed. Not at all.”
Merhi is managed by the former McLaren driver Mark Blundell.
“There are a couple of things that are being watched,” said Merhi, “but nothing concrete yet.”