European GP: MF1 Saturday qualifying notes

After demonstrating promising pace in all three free practice sessions, Midland F1 tasted bitter disappointment today after a timing system error prevented both drivers from completing their final qualifying laps. Following promising first runs...

After demonstrating promising pace in all three free practice sessions, Midland F1 tasted bitter disappointment today after a timing system error prevented both drivers from completing their final qualifying laps.

Following promising first runs by both drivers, an erroneous red flag was indicated by the timing system, ruining plans at a second attempt. As a result, Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro were pushed down to 18th and 20th positions, knocking them out of the qualifying session after the first heat.

Tiago Monteiro:

"Considering the problems we had yesterday today was much better: we had very good performance this morning, and the car was feeling much better, actually. Then, this afternoon in qualifying, as the temperatures rose, the car was feeling even more balanced, so I was feeling extremely encouraged."

"But I made a big mistake in Turn 6 on my first qualifying lap and unfortunately, I wasn't able to fully capitalise on the car's improvement on that run. But I thought I would have two runs, so I was focusing on making the most of my second chance."

"And then, inexplicably, we got penalised by that false red flag, which nobody seems to understand. I really hope the organisers have an explanation for that, because, in the end, it might not be a big deal for them, but it cost me my second run and a potential attempt to break into the second qualifying heat."

"My goal is to be in front of my team mate and as close as possible to the others, and this error cost me that opportunity, so that's a shame. But I'm still positive for the race tomorrow. At least we've sorted out the handling issues and have a pretty good balance with those tyres."

Christijan Albers:

"We could have been into the second group today and maybe even higher, because the car was running really well. I mean, the first lap I did was reasonable but not great, so I knew I could do even better on the second lap."

"And then, on that second run, my steering display was showing that I was about six- or seven-tenths quicker through the first two sectors, so who knows? I might have been able to knock off a one-thirty-one."

"It's really a shame that it had to end that way, because I really believed that it was possible for us to show what we're capable of today. But we were hit by bad luck again, just as we were in Imola. Hopefully, we can overcome it tomorrow."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director:

"We will look into what happened with that timing error, because I think it's pretty clear that we suffered the biggest disadvantage as a result of this problem. But anyway, more importantly, the time gap to the front is shrinking all the time. We're still not where we want to be, but you can be sure we will work hard to get there."

Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer:

"This is an unusually disappointing outcome from what was looking like being a good session for us. Extremely disappointing, in fact, because we need things at this stage to go well for us to make progress and make it into the later stages of qualifying."

"Today, because of a split-second occurrence, it didn't happen. We would like, perhaps, everyone to give some thought to what could be done in the future to avoid that sort of unfair outcome from happening again."

"Maybe they should have allowed more cars into the second session to make up for it, or perhaps considered extending the first session - something that would have allowed us to complete the qualifying runs we'd allowed time for. But yes, obviously, we're disappointed."

Tiago Monteiro
Chassis: M16-03
Qualifying Classification: 20th
1.33.658 (+3.839 from Pole Position Lap)
6 laps completed

Christijan Albers
Chassis: M16-04
Qualifying Classification: 18th
1:32.936 (+3.117 from Pole Position Lap)
5 laps completed

-mf1-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Christijan Albers , Tiago Monteiro , Colin Kolles