Albers shows impressive performance for Midland
26 August 2006 – Midland F1 Racing experimented with two very different strategies on Saturday in preparation for tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix.
Christijan Albers adopted a very aggressive set-up to set the team's fastest lap time of the weekend by more than one second on his way to entering the second qualifying session. Had he not been assessed a ten-position engine-change penalty, his time would have enabled him to start tomorrow's race from 16th position, instead of from the back of the grid.
Christijan Albers said: "Today was much better. We made a lot of progress since yesterday, which was a bad day for both Midland and Toyota, and I think we did a fantastic job of making the most of our time on the track today. So many thanks to the team and Toyota for their efforts, and let's push hard to do a good result tomorrow."
Tiago Monteiro elected to take a more conservative approach, one that emphasises equipment conservation and reliability over outright qualifying pace. He will start from 20th position, but is confident his strategy will pay dividends over the course of the race.
Tiago Monteiro commented: "I think we made the right choice for the race. Obviously, it's not ideal for qualifying, but we need to look beyond that and concentrate on going well over a race distance. At the end of the day, that's where you score your points, and that's what we're aiming for. With that in mind, we're reasonably satisfied with our performance today."
Midland F1 Managing Director Colin Kolles said: "We still have a lot of work to do, but it must be said that both drivers did a very good job today. The difference between Christijan's time and Rosberg's Williams is minuscule, and better than one of the Red Bulls and both Toro Rossos. So clearly we have made some progress. Tiago is on a strategy that plays to his strength of finishing races, which is a sensible way for him to go. I think it was one of our best qualifying results so far."