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Difficult weekend for Meritus duo.

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."


Related Pictures

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Earl Bamber - QI-Meritus.Mahara [pic credit: GP2 Series Media]
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. The Safety car is deployed Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Thursday 20 August 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

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