MF1 Racing Sporting Director Adrian Burgess confirms the team is right on schedule with the build of the first M16 chassis, and the final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are now being put together. The car, which symbolises a new era and new identity...
MF1 Racing Sporting Director Adrian Burgess confirms the team is right on schedule with the build of the first M16 chassis, and the final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are now being put together. The car, which symbolises a new era and new identity for the team, will be unveiled to the world's media at Silverstone on Friday, February 3rd.
"It's all coming together," says Burgess. "Obviously, at this time of year it's always hectic, but as of today we have things under control and we'll make it on time. We feel that we're going to produce a far better package than we did a year ago. We've had 12 months of stability now, we know who the owner is, we know where we're going, and we know what the engine is.
"Last year, the Toyota was really thrown into the back of the previous car. The installation was OK, and the reliability showed that everyone did a good job, but with this year's package we've had that much extra time. We've been able to attend to details that we couldn't with last year's car. So everyone is excited and eager to get on with it."
Progress has been bolstered by stability within the design team, overseen by MF1's new Technical Director, James Key. Like Chief Designer John McQuilliam and Aero Chief Simon Phillips, Key amassed considerable experience during the Jordan years, and that is now paying dividends.
"They've all been there a while now," says Adrian. "We have restructured a little bit, promoting James to the technical director's position. He's a steady pair of hands. He's the newest technical director in the pitlane, but he's been here a long time, he's worked in most of the significant departments within the business, and he's got a good overall feel for what each area contributes to the overall package. He's in a good position to pull all those elements together, which is what he's doing at the moment."
While every team always claims to have made a lot of progress over the winter months, MF1 actually has the scope to make genuine gains, because in effect the team is making a two-year leap. Last year's car did, of course, have its origins in the 2004 machine, and that inevitably meant compromise. Burgess is very optimistic about the inherent potential of the new design.
"We're quite happy with what we've seen in the wind tunnel, and by virtue of having a new chassis we've seen some fairly decent gains over the car we raced in China last year. Just having a new chassis has opened up so many different areas in the wind tunnel that are now giving us results, whereas we tried things before on the old chassis and they weren't really effective.