Midland F1 Racing experimented with two very different strategies on Saturday in preparation for tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix. Christijan Albers adopted a very aggressive set-up to set the team's fastest lap time of the weekend by more than one...
Midland F1 Racing experimented with two very different strategies on Saturday in preparation for tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix.
Christijan Albers adopted a very aggressive set-up to set the team's fastest lap time of the weekend by more than one second on his way to entering the second qualifying session. Had he not been assessed a ten-position engine-change penalty, his time would have enabled him to start tomorrow's race from 16th position, instead of from the back of the grid.
Tiago Monteiro elected to take a more conservative approach, one that emphasises equipment conservation and reliability over outright qualifying pace. He will start from 20th position, but is confident his strategy will pay dividends over the course of the race.
"I think we made the right choice for the race. Obviously, it's not ideal for qualifying, but we need to look beyond that and concentrate on going well over a race distance. At the end of the day, that's where you score your points, and that's what we're aiming for. With that in mind, we're reasonably satisfied with our performance today."
"Today was much better. We made a lot of progress since yesterday, which was a bad day for both Midland and Toyota, and I think we did a fantastic job of making the most of our time on the track today. So many thanks to the team and Toyota for their efforts, and let's push hard to do a good result tomorrow."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director:
"We still have a lot of work to do, but it must be said that both drivers did a very good job today. The difference between Christijan's time and Rosberg's Williams is minuscule, and better than one of the Red Bulls and both Toro Rossos. So clearly we have made some progress. Tiago is on a strategy that plays to his strength of finishing races, which is a sensible way for him to go. I think it was one of our best qualifying results so far."
Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer:
"At the start of the qualifying session, we found that the increased track and ambient temperatures had caused the circuit to drop off a little bit, with a little bit more oversteer on the early runs. I don't think the starting grid will necessarily reflect the true pace of our cars."
"We just kept looking more and more competitive as the day progressed, particularly Christijan in the second session. Our programme this morning indicates that we've got good tyres for the race, and we think it's going to bode well for a strong performance tomorrow. We're looking forward to it."
Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager:
"It was a very good result for us today. Tiago had a few handling problems, which may have prevented him from putting together the best possible lap, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I think he's happy with the set-up he's got for the race, so we'll see how that plays out."
"Christijan did a cracking job to get through to the second round again, ahead of our immediate competition. I think he wrung every bit of speed he could out of the car, so well done to him."
"Tomorrow is going to be a hard-fought race, I think, among a very tight field. So I think it will be down to strategy and maintaining a consistently strong pace over 58 laps, and I think we've got a car that can do that. Hopefully, it will allow us to be in with a chance for points at the finish."
Qualifying: 20th, 1:29.901
+2.994 from Pole Position lap, 8 laps
Qualifying: 16th, 1:28.639
+1.732 from Pole Position lap, 8+4 laps