British GP: MF1 preview

2006 British GP -- Preview 6 June, 2006 Following a two-day test at Elvington Circuit in Yorkshire, UK, that saw the team focus on aerodynamic development, Midland F1 Racing now heads across the road from its Northamptonshire headquarters to ...

2006 British GP -- Preview
6 June, 2006

Following a two-day test at Elvington Circuit in Yorkshire, UK, that saw the team focus on aerodynamic development, Midland F1 Racing now heads across the road from its Northamptonshire headquarters to Silverstone Circuit for the Round 8 of the 2006 FIA Formula 1 World Championship - the British Grand Prix.

With Markus Winkelhock and Fabrizio Del Monte alternating days behind the wheel, the team ran more than 300km at Elvington, covering an intensive aero testing programme that evaluated parts for the forthcoming high-speed Silverstone and North American races, as well as some engine items.

In addition to holding special value for MF1 Racing personnel as the team's home race, the British GP also remains a sentimental favouritefor MF1 Racing's Sporting Relations Manager, Johnny Herbert, who won his first F1 race on home soil in 1995 driving for Benetton-Renault.

Tiago Monteiro (POR), Car #18: "Silverstone is our home race, so obviously it will be very important for the drivers and the whole team to do well here. There will be lots of fans and sponsors in the stands, as well as many employees and their families, whichshould make for a fun atmosphere. We do a fair amount of testing here, so we are familiar with the set-up, but weather conditions are always changing and that can make things quite tricky. All in all, I'm looking forward to it, as quick tracks like this one are among my favourites. We missed a good opportunity in Monaco, where we showed good pace all weekend, so I am more motivated than ever to do well and hopefully, score our first points."

Christijan Albers (NED), Car #19: "I am really looking forward to Silverstone. I have been testing there a few times this year, so it's a circuit that I know well. The Midland factory is situated in Silverstone next to the track, and the whole team there is working very hard to make progress. For them it's their home race, so it's a very important race for all of us."

Giorgio Mondini (SUI), Test and Reserve Driver: "Ilike this circuit, having tested there already with the team earlier this year. It's always been a very difficult, technical track, but now that cornering speeds are higher than ever before, you really need to place the car very carefully to ensure a good flow through the corners. I think it's going to be a good test for all the drivers. I'm encouraged by the progress we've been making during the last few races so hopefully, with some luck, we'll be able to make the most of it this weekend."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "I am looking forward to the British GP, where we will have new aerodynamic developments on the cars. Hopefully, these upgrades will bring us closer to the frontrunners."

James Key, Technical Director: "We go into the British GP off the back of a competitive performance at Monaco. Although Silverstone is a very different circuit, we hope to continue our progress and reduce the gap to our competitors. It may, however, bea little more difficult than the last race. Having said that, it is a circuit we know well and the combination of high-speed corners and the complex at the end of the lap offers a great technical challenge. As ever, tyre choice will be critical, as Silverstone is a hard circuit on tyres and we will have to do our homework on Friday. The weather conditions may also play their part, so we could be in for an interesting weekend. Most important is that we progress in qualifying as best possible and have an incident-free race.Our performance improvements are clear, but we have to ensure that we getmore out of the qualifying and race sessions."

Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer: "Silverstone is now the second fastest circuit on the calendar (Monza being the fastest), with an average speed of over 230km/h on each lap.A stable and well-balanced car is vital, as the circuit rewards aerodynamic efficiency. Interestingly, Silverstone has a very ‘flat' characteristic with respect to downforce level, and it is possible to run both high and low top-speeds to achieve similar lap times. It is, of course, our home circuit, and we test here more frequently than anywhere else. The fact that it was once an airfield, though, means it always throws up some set-up challenges with the wind conditions and micro-climactic effects. Our car build specification is quite heavily revised since Monaco, with some new aerodynamic parts and a very different mechanical setup, so we expect the gap to the front to continue closing."

Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager: "After another reliable finish in Monaco, I feel that we will have to work that little bit harder to squeeze out every drop of speed from the M16 this weekend. Despite our drivers having a little ‘coming together' at the start in Monaco, I will ensure that,as always, Tiago and Christijanwork together as a unit and try once again to get our cars into the second qualifying session. Our technical package is coming together nicely; now it's just a matter of everyone pulling together to take us to that next step."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Christijan Albers , Tiago Monteiro , Markus Winkelhock , Giorgio Mondini , Colin Kolles
Teams Benetton , Midland F1 Racing