Midland Formula 1 Racing endured its second double-DNF of the season at the Turkish Grand Prix, a result made all the more disappointing by the considerable gains in performance achieved by the team. Tiago Monteiro was the victim of uninitiated...
Midland Formula 1 Racing endured its second double-DNF of the season at the Turkish Grand Prix, a result made all the more disappointing by the considerable gains in performance achieved by the team.
Tiago Monteiro was the victim of uninitiated contact in the first corner of the first lap while trying to avoid a car ahead that had spun. The accident broke his front suspension and ended his race on the spot.
Christijan Albers fought his way up from last place on the grid to run as high as 9th position at one point - just a few seconds away from 6th - only to crash into a barrier with 11 laps remaining.
The team now heads directly to Monza for a three-day test in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix, which will be held at that circuit in two weeks.
"This is one of the most frustrating situations for everyone: the mechanics, engineers and myself. It's probably the worst thing that can happen, because we worked so hard all weekend, only to be knocked out before the first corner. What's even worse is that I think we were on the right strategy for the race, being on the harder tyre, which would have worked well here, given the extremely hot temperatures. It could have been a really good one."
"Unfortunately, I got caught up in a racing incident. Everybody was trying to avoid a car that has spun, and I think one of the cars behind turned into me as it was trying to avoid another car. It happened so quickly; I had no time to react. He hit my wheel and my radiator and that was it. But anyway, I'm looking forward to testing at Monza this week. Our performance is improving and we have a lot of items to test, so we need to put this behind us and keep pushing ahead, because there are still four races left."
"This could have been a very good race for us. We put in a strong qualifying performance yesterday, and our race pace allowed us to fight for positions. I can definitely tell now where we're gaining time on the others and where we're losing time, so we have to work on that. But overall, I think it's been very positive, because we're catching up to the cars ahead. It's just a shame that we made a mistake during the second pit stop. At the end, though, I made a driver error: just going a bit too wide and touching the grass, which caused me to slam pretty hard into the guardrail. My shoulder is a little sore, but otherwise I'm OK."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director:
"I think Christijan drove a great race today. We were looking very competitive relative to the cars in front of us and our times were quite close to theirs. Unfortunately, we had a problem during his second pit stop that cost him a few positions and his race ended shortly afterward. But it was a spirited drive that showed what he and the M16 are capable of. Tiago had some bad luck on his opening lap, but I know he will come back strong. We are testing more new parts next week in Monza, so hopefully we will continue to gain ground on the teams ahead and make the most of the remaining races."
Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer:
"Obviously, we're very disappointed not to have any cars at the finish. We think Christijan looked very, very strong in the opening stages of the race. Our strategy for him was playing out quite well until his second pit stop, at which point we encountered a problem with refuelling, so that's something we'll have to examine. Unfortunately, he had an off shortly afterward, and that's something else we'll have to look into. Tiago's race doesn't leave much to be said, because it was over in a first-lap shunt in which he was a completely innocent victim."
Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager:
"It was a pity that we didn't finish today, because Christijan was doing a good job of staying ahead of several cars, for example, and having some good battles with the Toro Rossos. He fought all the way, but unfortunately he had the off at the end, which put us out of the race. Tiago never had a chance - he got tapped, spun around, damaged, and put out of the race. So that was just one of those horrible situations that's probably happened to us far too often this year. But overall, I think it was a positive weekend where we were able to show some good speed. Hopefully, that should hold us in good stead at the test in Monza next week, plus the race that follows."
Starting Position: 19th
Classification: DNF, 0 laps completed (+58 laps)
Fastest Lap: N/A
Starting Position: 22nd
Classification: DNF, 46 laps completed (+12 laps)
Fastest Lap: 1:30.403 at 15:58:46, 17th overall (+2.398 from fastest lap of the race)