Manor Marussia F1 Team reached another landmark achievement during today’s Chinese Grand Prix by getting both of its cars to the end of the race for the first time.
The ex-Marussia operation was revived over the winter by an injection of fresh investment that allowed a shell operation to remain in Formula 1 for 2015.
The team failed to get either of its cars out at the Australian Grand Prix, and was only able to run one car in Malaysia two weeks ago as Roberto Merhi finished the race in 15th place.
Merhi was joined out on track by teammate Will Stevens during Friday practice in China, marking the first time that Manor had both cars running at the same time.
After comfortably qualifying for the race on Saturday, Stevens and Merhi kept out of trouble to finish the Chinese Grand Prix in 15th and 16th place respectively, much to the delight of team principal John Booth.
“The whole team can feel really proud of what we’ve achieved in China this weekend,” Booth said. “Our target was to get both cars to the checkered flag and it’s a great feeling to have achieved that and to see the progress we’ve made in every session.
“The pace is also starting to come now – we were much better off in the race today – so there is a lot to be satisfied with and a lot to look forward to.”
Today was just Stevens’ second race in F1, having made his debut at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Caterham, and he is pleased by the progress being made at Manor.
“A great race for me and the team and one which shows how far we’ve come in a very short space of time,” Stevens said. “Obviously it feels really good for me to be racing again and to finish the race with both cars is so important for us at this stage of our development.
“We always knew that when we sorted out the challenges we’d have a reliable car. I didn’t get the best of starts but those sorts of issues are easily resolved and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more progress over the next few races.”
The team will be looking for a repeat result at next Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix as it continues to find its feet in 2015.