Despite coming close to scoring points, the QI-Meritus team came away empty-handed from the latest round of the GP2 Asia Series in Bahrain.
Fielding a revised driver line-up of Earl Bamber and Marco Bonanomi, who was making his series return following a stint with Piquet Sports last season, it was the latter that made the biggest gains in qualifying by placing the car ninth on the grid.
However, the Italian's hard work was undone from the lights when he stalled and was forced to rejoin almost a lap down. Although he briefly held the fastest lap of the race, it was only good enough for 20th position by the chequered flag.
A similar charge in the second race saw Bonanomi climb his way up to tenth, just a few seconds off the points' positions, but he would go no further, much to his frustration.
"Today was a very hard race. I am very pleased with my performance. I gave everything I could, starting 20th and finishing tenth. There was a lot of traffic but I can guarantee you that I pushed for every lap 100 per cent.
“Now I know the car a bit better. My take away is that the race starts on Thursday and that we need a strong qualifying. Then we can be on the podium and make progress more for the following race. See you in Qatar where we'll have learned from this lesson."
After a quiet run to 11th in the first race, Bamber went on to battle for points in the second exchange, but was also disappointed to just miss out on the points in seventh.
"I had a strong start even if I was careful not to jump start. I went to the outside in the first corner but it was a good move and worked out. Later in the race I had a bit of pressure from Hamad Al Fardan. By mid-race, I was fighting hard.
“Jerome D'Ambrosio was behind me - he was quicker and passed me on the straight. Later, I would have liked to pass Kobayashi, but he was very quick and has lots of experience. I made one or two small mistakes that caused me drop back. I am happy it is a good result to prepare us for the next race in Qatar."