Following an extensive three-day programme at Silverstone Circuit to evaluate tyre compounds and technical upgrades, MF1 Racing heads to the picturesque Eifel region of western Germany for Round 5 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship: the ...
Following an extensive three-day programme at Silverstone Circuit to evaluate tyre compounds and technical upgrades, MF1 Racing heads to the picturesque Eifel region of western Germany for Round 5 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship: the European GP.
Buoyed by the results of the latest test, the team hopes to capitalize on its ever-improving pace with an impressive showing at the 5.148 km-long Nürburgring, a circuit that elicits mostly fond memories from MF1's drivers.
Apart from being the venue for victories by Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil in lower formulae (2003 DTM and 2005 F3 EuroSeries, respectively), the 'Ring was also the setting for a rain-soaked Grand Prix victory by Johnny Herbert - now MF1's Sporting Relations Manager - back in 1999.
"After the race in Imola, the team and I had a good three days of testing at Silverstone, with many laps run and some good data gained from all the tyre testing we did. We are pretty happy with our tyre choice for the Nürburgring, a track where you need lots of traction to put in quick times, especially coming out of the hairpin corners."
"We're also confident of making a little improvement, speed-wise, after this test and I hope it will be reflected on track this weekend. With so many strong teams in F1 this year, it won't be an easy task to move up the grid. I am also aware that we need to find some more speed, especially in qualifying. But we are a resilient team, and we will continue to fight with everything we have."
"I am happy to be in the car again after my big shunt in Imola. Hopefully, we can make a good start this time around and be in a better position to move up the field. I know this circuit quite well, having enjoyed a fair bit of success here during my F3 and DTM days. Since the Belgian GP will not be staged this year, this race is more or less my home race, being the closest one to Holland."
"There will be plenty of Dutch fans in attendance, which always makes me proud. Seeing all the orange in the grandstands gives me a boost - some extra motivation to do my very best and give something back to the fans and the hard-working members of my team. Their support is very important to me, and they deserve nothing less than my maximum effort."
"I'm very happy to be doing my first official Friday practice in Germany. I really like the Nürburgring, and have fond memories of winning an F3 EuroSeries race here last year. I hope I can put in a strong performance and help the team as best as possible. I'm well prepared for this day and really looking forward to it!"
Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer:
"The Nürburgring offers a range of corners within a fraction over 5 km of track. Normally, the cars suffer from understeer here and we will be working hard to improve the balance - particularly on new tyres - as we try to bring our qualifying performance closer to what we are capable of in terms of race pace."
"We have a couple of performance updates for the M16 following our testing at Silverstone last week, as well as an engine upgrade as we fit our third set of two-race engines. We expect race strategy to be similar to what we have seen at other events recently but, of course, the weather at the Nurburgring is notorious. The race is also taking place a little bit earlier this year, so anything could happen!"
Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager:
"People still comment on my win here in 1999, saying how surprising it was, coming as it did with a smaller team (Stewart Grand Prix). We were in a similar situation back then as Midland are today: struggling with some bad luck and not quite performing up to our potential. But it just goes to show how big a role determination and sharp thinking play into it."
"We never stopped believing in ourselves and kept working hard to improve, just as everyone in the Midland team does. Hopefully, we can witness a similar reversal of fortune this weekend and taste a bit of success."