MidlandF1 plans 2006 debut

A new team is planning its Formula One debut in 2006 it was announced on October 8th, by the name of MidlandF1. The Midland Group is a privately owned investment and trading company and its car will be built by Dallara, which previously raced in...

A new team is planning its Formula One debut in 2006 it was announced on October 8th, by the name of MidlandF1. The Midland Group is a privately owned investment and trading company and its car will be built by Dallara, which previously raced in F1 in the late eighties and early nineties.

According to the official F1 website, Midland chairman Alex Shnaider said: "For a global-acting business conglomerate, the search for a global platform is mutual and Formula One is the perfect fit: it's global, it's competitive, it's tactical and it's high tech."

"I am surprised that no one has realized that having a Formula One team is like getting an NBA or NHL franchise for free, as it is one of the world's most popular sports. The opportunity to create value is immense and it stuns me that there are not more companies that have identified this opportunity just as we have."

Unsurprisingly, the team expects to be a winner in the sport but knows it will not be easy. "Everybody wants to win," Shnaider commented. "Midland F1 will be no exception to that. But first we have to do our homework: put a team together -- the right people, a competitive car. Then we can start thinking about winning. But I can assure you winning will be on our agenda."

As for the team members, the groundwork is still being done. "We are in the middle of a selection process for the crew," said Shnaider. "The car will be built in partnership with Dallara in Italy and the team's headquarters will be on the outskirts of London."

"We are holding talks with the usual suspects," he added in regard to an engine supplier. "But there is nothing to announce yet. But by January-February we should be able to reveal everything."

Shnaider cannot yet confirm whom will drive for the team but commented: "As I said, we are in the middle of the selection process but it is very likely that Formula One will see its first Russian rookie in the near future."

Sergey Zlobin was the first Russian to drive an F1 car when he tested with Minardi in 2002 and he continues to test for the team this year. It's yet to be seen if Zlobin is the driver Shnaider is hinting at.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Sergey Zlobin
Teams Minardi