The Manor Marussia F1 team achieved its principal aim for the Chinese Grand Prix weekend by getting both Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi to the chequered flag on Sunday.

The team had attracted criticism for having previously fielded none and one of its entries in the Australian and Malaysian grands prix respectively, but began the Shanghai weekend well by running its two drivers on track at the same time from FP1 onwards.

Although they were always destined to fill the back row of the grid barring a disaster for one of the more established outfits, both Stevens and Merhi duly made the cut for the race, comfortably under the 107 per cent target time.

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From there, it was a matter of safely navigating as many of the scheduled 56 laps as possible, with both drivers managing 54 as they were lapped twice before Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag for world champion Mercedes.

"The whole team can feel really proud of what we've achieved in China this weekend," team principal John Booth insisted, "Our target was to get both cars to the chequered 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."

For Merhi, it was a second finish in as many races having also seen the chequers in Malaysia.

"I'm really pleased that we've completed another race and this time with both cars, steps which are really important for the team," the Spaniard said after coming home in 16th spot, "Looking back across the whole weekend, we've made a lot of progress since Malaysia and the pace is improving all the time from session to session. I hope we can continue this progress in Bahrain next weekend."

Stevens, meanwhile, was happy just to have made it onto the grid, having been forced to miss Malaysia as the team continued to trace an elusive gremlin on his car while the field formed up on the grid.

"It was a great race for me and the team, and one which shows how far we've come in a very short space of time," said the Briton, who made his race debut with Caterham 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."

With Romain Grosjean scoring seventh place for Lotus, Manor remains rooted to the bottom of the constructors' table, but still equal on points with comparative giant McLaren, which has also yet to score despite having two world champions on its books...