Midland F1 Racing overcame a calamitous start to the Monaco Grand Prix to claim its third two-car finish of the season. An unfortunate start line incident saw Christijan Albers lightly collide with teammate Tiago Monteiro and push him into the barriers, damaging Monteiro's front wing and forcing him into an early, unscheduled pit stop. Albers was assessed a drive-through penalty for his part in the incident and also lost valuable track positions.
Despite these handicaps, both drivers drove aggressive races and displayed impressive pace, making the most of their opponents' retirements and penalties. Albers claimed an impressive 12th-place finish, while Monteiro brought home his M16 in 15th position, despite being held up by slower cars for much of the race.
The team now returns home to prepare for the British Grand Prix, across the road from the factory at Silverstone Circuit, in two weeks time.
Tiago Monteiro "A very frustrating weekend, to be sure. We had the pace to be competitive this weekend, which was great - a big, big improvement over last year. We were among the 10th and 15th fastest cars all weekend but got hit by bad luck during a tricky qualifying session, which wasn't completely unexpected. Unfortunately, we had that unnecessary incident at the start, and I lost a lot of time on the ensuing pit stop. I had to make up about 30 seconds and get past the Super Aguris, so my race was effectively shot right there. I spent a long time behind Montagny, waiting for him to make a mistake, because it's very difficult to pass here. But once I got by him, I had a clear track and was able to push hard and put in some good times. I was very happy with the car all weekend, and I have to thank my team of engineers and mechanics for that. Things didn't turn out as well as we would have liked but on the positive side we were quick, so that's a good sign for the future."
Christijan Albers "I think we had really strong pace today, especially before the pit stop. At one point, we were almost the quickest ones on the track. It was just a shame to get a drive-through penalty. I have no clue why, to be honest, because from my point of view, my front wing was ahead and I had position. But everyone has their own opinion of that, so we'll leave that alone for now. I have to say I'm quite happy with our result today because my car struggled quite badly at the beginning of the weekend and ended up being very good. You can't really complain about a 12th-place finish with a drive-through penalty, so I'm really happy and would like to thank my mechanics and engineers for the good job they were able to do to."
James Key, Technical Director "A busy and eventful afternoon, to say the least. Both drivers had extremely good pace during the race. Obviously, the situation at the beginning really messed up the afternoon because it resulted in Tiago losing a lot of time with a nose change and Christijan got a drive-through penalty. That was really unfortunate because they were both on the pace. In fact, they were quicker than the cars ahead of them and caught them up very quickly afterward. So that was a real shame because everything else today was quite positive. The cars were reliable, the Bridgestone tyres were very good and the performance was encouraging. It's just a shame that wasn't reflected in the final result."