MF1 Racing drivers Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro posted the 18th and 20th fastest times, respectively, in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. A red flag at the start of the first session and a yellow flag toward the end reduced both ...
MF1 Racing drivers Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro posted the 18th and 20th fastest times, respectively, in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
A red flag at the start of the first session and a yellow flag toward the end reduced both drivers' efforts to a single flying lap. Monteiro's pace was further compromised by technical gremlins, which the team is currently attempting to solve.
Despite the disappointment of being eliminated in the first qualifying session, the team will rely on a solid race strategy and the substantial amount of data gained in last week's test to mount a strong challenge in tomorrow's race.
"I'm very disappointed with our qualifying performance today. We got hit by a couple of braking problems that we're working on solving at the moment. The balance and set-up are fine, and I was able to drive clean laps, but these little issues require further investigation. It's crucial that we get on top of them by tomorrow if we are to have any chance of having a good race."
"I was expecting this to be a tough weekend, because everybody knows that top speed is not our strongest characteristic. But surprisingly, we're doing OK. True, we're 18th, which is nothing to celebrate, but if you look at the times, we are quite competitive. Going into tomorrow, we still have some new sets of tyres and we'll use them to maximum advantage in the race."
"We worked on our race set-up while we were here testing last week, so I think we will be fine tomorrow. I am very pleased with the hard work that the team has put in. All the mechanics, engineers, and people from Toyota have done a good job, so now it's up to Tiago and me to deliver the best result we can."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director:
"Our times are better than expected, actually. Considering that this is a track where you need a lot of engine power and low drag to be quick, the gap to the front is not that large. In that first session, Christijan was ahead of one Williams, and not very far from the Red Bulls and Toyotas. Based on this, we are reasonably pleased with our progress and optimistic of having a good race tomorrow."
James Key, Technical Director:
"It was a difficult Q1 because of the red flag at the beginning, and the yellow flags at the end meant that Christijan and Tiago only got one flying lap in, whereas typically they do two to four. So that compromised us a bit."
"Tiago also had some problems that cropped up in qualifying but were not evident in the morning's practice session, so we're going to have to look at the data to see what was occurring there. In spite of this, both drivers gave it their best shot and we're pleased with their performances."
"It was never going to be our strongest circuit, primarily because there's a lot of straight-line running in Monza, and that has been one of our weakest points all year. So we didn't expect great things when we came here, but nonetheless, it's disappointing not to get at least one car into Q2. On the positive side, we know we have a good tyre for the race tomorrow, so we'll plan accordingly and try to make the most of it."
Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager:
"I thought we did OK, all things considered. Both drivers drove clean laps and came very close to cracking the second session. It was a shame that Tiago had a technical glitch that held him back, but I think that's probably the best job our guys could have done, because this is certainly one of the worst circuits of the season for us."
"But we've got a good strategy for the race tomorrow, and you never know - if luck runs our way, we might be able to come away with a strong result, which would be nice."
Qualifying: 20th, 1:23.920 (+2.436 from Pole Position lap), 5 laps
Qualifying: 18th, 1:23.116 (+1.112 from Pole Position lap), 5 laps