Midland Unveils New Challenger

Silverstone, UK - MF1 Racing – the Formula One team owned and operated by Midland Group – today unveiled the car with which it will compete in the 2006 FIA F1 World Championship: the Midland MF1 Toyota M16.

The all-new car – adorned in striking grey, red and white livery – represents the first entry in the 56-year history of the World Championship to race with a Russian motorsport license.

"It has been an exciting, sometimes bumpy ride since we accelerated our plans and became involved in F1 a year earlier than expected," said Colin Kolles, Managing Director of MF1 Racing. "But through all the ups and downs, we maintained a clear vision of where want to be and, step by step, we are getting there.

"We have restructured the company and refurbished our headquarters as the first stage of our long-term plans. The M16 car is 100% a product of MF1 Racing – solid proof of our serious intentions. But even though we have invested a great deal into building a brand-new car, we remain realistic about the challenge we face as a private team against the world’s top motor manufacturers.

"At this stage in our development, we are excited to give opportunities to the young men and women who will become the future of Formula 1. Technical Director James Key and his team of engineers, who have designed and built the M16, are those people. Their car, like the company as a whole, is a platform for the future and will be continuously developed. Our target for 2006 is consistent and visible progress compared to our rivals, while maintaining the superb reliability record that highlighted 2005. Special thanks should be given to our technical partners, Toyota and Bridgestone, whose continued support has made today possible.

"MF1 Racing’s drivers for the 2006 FIA F1 World Championship season were confirmed as 2005 F1 Rookie of the Year Tiago Monteiro from Portugal and Dutchman Christijan Albers. Germans Markus Winkelhock and Adrian Sutil, as well as Roman Rusinov from Russia, were introduced as the team’s test drivers.

"Both Tiago and Christijan had outstanding rookie years in 2005 and we believe this tandem forms a strong, competitive partnership that will benefit us in our first season as MF1 Racing," added Kolles. "Our three test drivers have all achieved considerable success in other formulae and we are confident they have the potential to develop into successful F1 drivers."

"The M16 is a completely new car," said James Key, Technical Director of MF1 Racing. "Obviously, the information we have gained from developing the EJ15B has gone into building the M16, but it is significantly improved in so many ways – mechanically, aerodynamically, even the way it is packaged. We are very optimistic about the progress that lies ahead."

"With the M16, we have made a significant leap forward in every respect," said team owner Alex Shnaider, Chairman and co-founder of Midland Group.

"I am very proud of the passion and ingenuity demonstrated by our workforce and partners, who are the lifeblood of this team. Everyone has worked extremely hard to make this car a reality and I am confident that if we maintain this level of commitment, we will continue to make further and more frequent leaps forward in the years to come."

Shakedown testing of the Midland MF1 Toyota M16 is due to take place at Silverstone on 03 Feb., followed by a four-day test at Jerez beginning 07 Feb.


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