MF1 Midland RACING 2006 Italian Grand Prix - Preview

MF1 Midland RACING 2006 Italian Grand Prix - Preview

06.09.2006: MF1 Midland RACING 2006 Italian Grand Prix - Preview

Following three days of intensive testing at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza last week, Midland Formula 1 Racing returns to the fastest circuit of them all for Round 15 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Italian Grand Prix.

Due to the incredibly high speeds attained on its long straights and famous Parabolica curve, Monza presents a unique set of technical challenges that will require specific solutions with regard to tyres, aerodynamics, brakes and suspension calibrations. MF1 Racing has comprehensively evaluated all of these areas during last week's tests and heads into the weekend optimistic it can continue its trend of demonstrating increased competitiveness at the final European race of the season.

At this time, MF1 Racing is also proud to announce the addition of Carrera Sunglasses as the Official Eyewear Supplier to the team for the remainder of 2006 Formula 1 season. The Carrera brand, created in 1953 in Traun, Austria, was named after the legendary Mexican car race, the Carrera Panamericana. In 1996, the Carrera brand was acquired by the Safilo Group - a market leader in the eyewear sector based in Padua, Italy. Carrera sunglasses will be worn by all MF1 Racing personnel.

MF1 Racing`s Friday driver, Giorgio Mondini, will wear a unique race suit this weekend that has been specially commissioned by MF1 Official Supplier, Cesare Attolini. Founded in the 1930s by Vincenzo Attolini in Naples, Italy, the company has provided bespoke tailored suits worn by Midland F1 Racing`s management at official team events this season. The race suit to be worn by Giorgio Mondini during both Friday Free Practice sessions was conceived in conjunction with MF1`s Official Race Suit supplier, Sparco, and represents classic Italian suit design in the form of a set of current Formula 1 race-specification overalls.

Tiago Monteiro (POR), Car #18: "It's great to be back in Monza. I really like this region of Italy and it's always good to come back here - the fans, the atmosphere, and the history of the place are all just incredible. It's definitely one of the more exciting venues as far as culture goes. The track itself is a different story: it's very, very fast, but also kind of boring, actually. The low-downforce configuration means we have less grip and longer braking distances than at other circuits, and the chicanes are very slow. I do like the Ascari curve, though - it's demanding, but it has a good rhythm and is a lot of fun when you get it just right. We had a good few days of testing here and I'm happy with how the car has been improving, especially when I drove it on the last day. Hopefully, we'll see some great racing this weekend and enjoy a good result in the race."

Christijan Albers (NED), Car #19: "I have really been looking forward to Monza. It's a track that suits my driving style and it's always fun to race in a place with so much history. Monza is the home of Italian motorsport, so there is always a fantastic atmosphere here, with many passionate fans. I also remember a large number of Dutch fans attending this race last year, so I hope the team can do something to give them a memorable weekend. This track is very fast, so choosing the right tyres and tuning our package correctly is going to be really important. We're also going to need strong engine performance and reliability if we're going to keep fighting with the other teams. We had a good test here last week, so I have a good feeling for the track and am anxious to go racing."

Giorgio Mondini (SUI), Test and Reserve Driver: "As an Italian speaker with Italian roots, it has always been a huge confidence booster for me to race in front of an Italian crowd. I grew up dreaming of driving an F1 car at Monza, so leaving the garage for the first time on Friday morning will really be a special moment for me! True, I drove at the test here last week, but it's not the same thing. The choices we make on Friday will be very important for Sunday`s race, so I have to make sure I give the team the best information possible. Every time I drive the M16, I am gaining valuable experience, so putting in the kilometres is very important to me and the team."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "This is the final race of the European season, so it's important that we finish on a positive note before traveling to China, Japan and Brazil. Everybody at the factory has worked very hard to make sure we had new parts to bring to this race. We have been making consistent progress all year and I hope we will continue seeing improved results until the end of the season."

Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer: "Testing here last week proved to be enormously beneficial for us, as we have already covered some of the things in our normal Friday practice programme at the test. Obviously, we know more about the tyres, so our normal Friday procedure of running through the different tyre options with the race drivers and third driver will not be quite as essential. In addition, we better understand the downforce level needed for this circuit. In Monza, engine power is paramount, and the units get a very hard workout, thanks to the long straights and high speeds. As such, we will obviously consider it sensible not to expose them to undue risk or duress during the Friday practice by covering a lot of mileage when it is not absolutely essential, in order to maximise our performance for qualifying and the race."

Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager: "Christijan's race pace in Turkey showed that we have taken another step forward, and now we have to carry that momentum into Italy. Monza is an engine-hungry race track that will test all of the teams' motors to their limits, but hopefully, both of our cars can have a trouble-free weekend. Our drivers need to start from their qualifying positions if we are to have a reasonable chance of scoring good results in this race, so I'm hoping we can find some of the luck that's been eluding us lately."

- Ron FINE, MF Midland Racing F1 -


06.09.2006 / MaP

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