Manor boss ‘justifiably proud’ of early achievements

© XPB 

Manor boss John Booth says his team can be ‘justifiably proud’ of its achievements over the first four fly-away races.

Both Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi made it to the end during last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, which was the ex-Marussia squad’s second consecutive double finish after China.

The Briton claimed 16th at Sakhir, two laps down from race winner Lewis Hamilton, with his Spanish team-mate a further lap adrift and the last driver to be classified. Although the 2014-spec Ferrari-powered MR03 remains well off the pace, Booth is pleased to have enjoyed another trouble-free outing.

“After a really smooth weekend here in Bahrain, another two-car finish is exactly how we wanted to close out the first round of long haul races,” said the Manor team principal.

“That achievement really cannot be underestimated when you see the difficulties being experienced up and down the pit lane through the weekend.”

Manor experienced a challenging start to its 2015 campaign when both cars were confined to the team’s garage across the entire season-opening weekend.

Still, turning up in Australia after a last-minute rescue was nothing short of remarkable considering the outfit did not have any pre-season testing and was still in administration a month prior to the event.

Although Stevens could not make the start either in Malaysia due to a fuel system issue, Merhi’s race finish at Sepang gave Manor a much-welcomed impetus to launch its season.

Booth now hopes his team will continue to make strides as the F1 circus gears up for the European leg of the season.

“We head back to Europe feeling justifiably proud of how far we've come in such a short space of time, albeit we are very aware that the challenge kicks up a notch from here.

“Our drivers have done a very commendable job to cope with everything thrown at them with the minimum of preparation and the team have worked so hard to get us back to a very strong operational level.

“The three-week break from racing gives us the chance to reflect and evaluate all the data we've been able to gather, then come back stronger still for Barcelona.”

Click here for analysis of the development war between Ferrari and Mercedes 

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter