Midland Formula 1 Racing made a welcome return to form in qualifying for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix, with Tiago Monteiro posting the team's fastest time of the weekend thus far in the first session. Monteiro was 15th after the first 15 ...
Midland Formula 1 Racing made a welcome return to form in qualifying for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix, with Tiago Monteiro posting the team's fastest time of the weekend thus far in the first session.
Monteiro was 15th after the first 15 minutes but slipped to down to 16th position in Q2, running on worn tyres in order to save an extra fresh set for the race. His teammate, Christijan Albers - who will start at the back of the grid as the result of a 10-position engine change penalty - also elected to conserve his machinery for the race while setting the 21st-fastest time of the opening session.
"I'm very pleased to be back in second qualifying, obviously. We had been struggling since the beginning of the weekend with tyre choices and set-up issues, so it's great to be able to give the team that much-needed boost. The balance of the car was so much better today than it was yesterday, and although I got held up by traffic on my first timed run, I put it to the back of my mind and just went all out on the second."
"The improved handling allowed me to push the car much harder than I did previously, and it showed in the time. In the second session, we went out on used tyres because we decided it would be more important to have the new ones for the race tomorrow than to try and gain one more place, if any. I think the team made the right decision, and I congratulate them because they overcame a lot of tricky obstacles to get us to where we need to be."
"Knowing that we had the engine penalty, we chose to adopt a pretty conservative approach today, one that would save both the tyres and equipment, so we ran very few laps in practice this morning. My first qualifying run was pretty good and showed we're moving in the right direction, but I made a slight mistake on the second run that cost us a bit of time."
"Thankfully, it wasn't what I would call an expensive mistake, and I would prefer to make it when I know have a 10-place penalty rather than when I have a legitimate chance to qualify well. I'm not a robot, and human beings can make mistakes. But it's OK, we know we can be a little bit quicker, and tomorrow's when it counts for real."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director:
"Tiago did a very good job for us today, and it was nice to see the team fight back from the problems we had yesterday. We might have been able to go a bit faster in the second qualifying session but we decided to save our new tyres for the race. In my opinion it's the right approach, because I think that many teams will struggle with tyres tomorrow. Christijan is starting from the back anyway because we had to change his engine, so his qualifying performance wouldn't have counted for much, anyway."
Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer:
"It was quite a pleasing qualifying session for Tiago. Obviously, we've found a bit more performance in his car than what we've seen this weekend, which is positive, and we think we're looking increasingly better for the race. With Chris, anyway, we're taking a 10-place penalty at the end of this session, but we're also optimistic that we should be able to produce something good with him tomorrow. "
Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager:
"All in all, it was a good session. Tiago put a very good lap together and got through to the second session, which is where we expect to be. In Q2, we decided it wasn't worth sacrificing a new set of tyres to gain an extra position - if that - so we sent him out on used tyres just to have a go."
"Christijan couldn't really find the perfect balance on his car but I think he'll be in good shape for tomorrow. Now we just need to have a good, consistent race and hope for something fortunate to happen. It's a difficult circuit to overtake on, but things do happen here occasionally."
Qualifying: 16th, 1:22.009 (+2.41 from Pole Position lap), 6+3 laps
Qualifying: 21st, 1:23.146 (+3.547 from Pole Position lap), 6 laps