French GP: MF1 preview

Midland Formula 1 Racing heads to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for Round 11 of the 2006 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the French Grand Prix - the first of an intensive European stretch of races that includes three GPs over the next four...

Midland Formula 1 Racing heads to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for Round 11 of the 2006 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the French Grand Prix - the first of an intensive European stretch of races that includes three GPs over the next four weeks.

Bolstered by a number of significant suspension and aerodynamic updates tested last week at Silverstone Circuit, the team aims to continue closing the gap to its rivals and registering its strongest race result of the season.

Tiago Monteiro:

"I like the track at Magny-Cours. I raced there quite a bit while I was competing in France in the lower categories, so I want to be able to take advantage of that experience. It will also be nice for me to see some friends and old sponsors I was close to when I was living there."

"The team has been working really hard to introduce some new parts for the car, so we need to recompense them with a good finish. We've had some competitive performances that haven't yet translated into good race results, so I really want to keep pushing hard to score the first points for Midland this year!"

Christijan Albers:

"Last year's race at Magny-Cours left a huge impact on me. Literally! Due to technical problems, I lost the car, crashing it at over 200 km/h. That was my first big shunt in Formula 1, but at least it showed me how safe F1 cars are these days."

"This year, I'm planning on finishing the race and I hope we can build on the qualifying result we achieved in the USA. It's great to be back in Europe, and especially France. This country loves Formula 1, so I hope it will be a good show for the fans and for our team."

Adrian Sutil, Test and Reserve Driver:

"I'm really looking forward to my second Friday practice session with the team. After two successful months of racing in the Japanese F3 Championship (3 wins), I can't wait to step into the Midland M16 again. The track in Magny-Cours is one of my favourites and I really enjoy driving there. I will do everything I can to help the team find the best possible setup for qualifying and the race."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director:

"Magny-Cours is definitely one of circuits that suits our car. We'll be introducing some new upgrades to the cars which should help keep us ahead of the cars we overtook last time, so hopefully we will have better luck this weekend and get both cars to the end of the race."

Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer:

"Magny-Cours is certainly one of the more favourable circuits from our point of view, and we are quite optimistic about coming to grips with the technical challenges it presents. We will be coming to this event with some more updates for the M16, as well as returning the car to its more familiar higher-downforce configuration."

"The track surface is very smooth, and there are two very quick chicanes and an understeer-inducing, 180-degree fast corner at the start of the lap. You need to be good over the kerbs and still run the car with quite high wheel rates and low ride heights for aerodynamic performance. The pit lane is the shortest of the year in terms of time lost during a stop, which should make for some interesting race strategy calls."

Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager:

"It's nice to be back in Europe at the Magny-Cours circuit, with its fast corners that push both the cars and the drivers to their limits. We wish to carry our good form of late into France, and once again, get both our cars through to the second qualifying session."

"Our luck ran out in the US Grand Prix, so we need to focus on getting our cars to the finish line in order to give ourselves a chance of scoring some points. We've missed out on some good chances to do it in the past, and now it's time to start capitalising on those opportunities."

-mf1-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Christijan Albers , Tiago Monteiro , Adrian Sutil , Colin Kolles