Manor has not ruled out keeping its current driver lineup for the rest of the season.
Until now, the former Marussia team as well as Roberto Merhi have admitted that the Spanish rookie is not guaranteed his place throughout 2015.
Merhi, 24, has not even given up his full-time race seat in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.
But when asked if Merhi will continue as Will Stevens’ teammate for the rest of the year, sporting director Graeme Lowdon said in Shanghai: “I see no reason why not.”
That could be because, in its current configuration, Manor has made big progress since the start of the year, when neither car could even be fired up.
But on Saturday, both Stevens and Merhi – although dead last – were comfortably within the 107 per cent qualifying barrier for the first time in 2015.
“We are in 107pc,” Merhi is quoted by Spain’s AS newspaper, “which is something we did not manage at the last race.”
Finally, Manor could be planning a livery change after the China-Bahrain double-header, with the team having run essentially the old Marussia colours until now.
Speed Week reports that the new livery could debut at the Spanish grand prix next month. (GMM)