MF1Racing looks to bounce back from a disappointing opening race in Bahrain with a much-improved performance in Malaysia. Having spent the week solving the technical problems that plagued both race cars at Sakhir, the team is cautiously...
MF1Racing looks to bounce back from a disappointing opening race in Bahrain with a much-improved performance in Malaysia.
Having spent the week solving the technical problems that plagued both race cars at Sakhir, the team is cautiously optimistic it can finally demonstrate the reliability and pace it believes it is capable of.
Swiss driver Giorgio Mondini makes his official Formula One debut for the Midland team, testing tyre compounds behind the wheel of the T-Car on Friday. The 2004 Formula Renault V6 champion will also be on standby as a reserve driver throughout the weekend.
Built in 1999, Sepang International Circuit is a high-downforce circuit with a good combination of technical corners. The heat and lateral forces, combined with a surface that has become increasingly bumpy over time, make this one of the most physically challenging tracks on the F1 circuit.
"I'm very glad to be back in Malaysia because this was one of my favourite tracks last year, actually. From a driver's perspective, it's really enjoyable to race here - very quick, very aggressive, nice high-speed corners - but at the same time, it's also very demanding, both for the car and for the driver."
"The temperature, humidity and downforce loads will all be extreme, so it won't be an easy race for anyone, I guess. But we understand why we had problems last week in Bahrain, so we know what we have to work on and how we can improve. Therefore, I'm really looking forward to doing better here."
"Although the track is quite challenging, it's very nice to drive and, from what I'm told, to observe a race at. The weather here is typically very hot, but it shouldn't be a problem for us. The guys are working really hard to overcome the problems we experienced last weekend, and hopefully we'll be OK."
"We're pushing like hell to improve and I'm just anxious to get my first race lap of the season out of the way. After that, I can concentrate on getting into a good rhythm and putting all this hard work to good use."
Giorgio Mondini, Reserve Driver:
"I'm so excited to be here. This is so different from anything I'd experienced previously - not just the car, which is obviously much faster, but also the number of personnel at our disposal, their skill level, everything. They don't call it F1 for nothing! It is the maximum, in every way."
"To be honest, I had hoped to get some more test time in the car before coming here, but my aim is still the same: to make the best tyre and car set-up choices for the race. I don't know the track very well, but this should only take me 5 or 10 laps to figure out. After that, I should get up to speed very quickly."
Dominic Harlow, Head of Race and Test Engineering:
"It's a back-to-back race, so it's been quite an exciting push to get ourselves across from Bahrain and get prepared for this event. Like Bahrain, it's a very hot environment here - it's one of the main features of this circuit. In terms of our car performance, we'll be looking to improve on Bahrain, obviously. We weren't happy with what happened there, with a lack of reliability in the race, so we'll address those issues."
"We expect pretty good performance from the package in these conditions, that's for sure. We think we're well suited to the hot climate with what we're bringing here. We've got Giorgio Mondini in the third car this weekend, so it will be interesting to see what he's got to say on the Friday. Apart from that, we'll execute our normal programme and push as hard as we can to get the job done properly this time."