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MF1 Racing continued its preparations for the 2006 Bahrain GP today with all three cars doing a considerable amount of running in both free practice sessions.
German reserve driver Markus Winkelhock, participating in his first Grand Prix weekend, performed extremely well, considering it was his first time driving at the Sakhir circuit.
The team encountered no significant technical problems, although a slight electronic malfunction limited Christijan Albers' track time in the second session.
Adrian Burgess, Sporting Director: "It was quite a constructive first day of the season for all of us. Tiago did a decent job and ran through his programme without any real problems. Same with Markus, who did some tyre evaluation work for us that should prove useful for us. Christijan had a few issues with the car but we did go in the right direction, so hopefully we'll have another trouble-free day tomorrow. We're definitely getting a better idea of the car as we continue to put mileage on it and we can expect further performance gains throughout the weekend."
Tiago Monteiro: "I was pretty happy with my day, actually. We had no major problems and the car felt better and better as the day went on. I got held up in the second session by a few yellow flags, so I'm pretty sure I could have gone about four-tenths faster on the fuel load I had. We also know where we can make improvements, so that's also pretty encouraging. But you never know where you are compared to everyone else - this is only practice, after all. Tomorrow's qualifying should provide more answers." Christijan Albers: "Today was a tough day for me, as I encountered some difficulties with the car's electronics. But then again, we know what the problem is so we should be able to address it before tomorrow's practice. It's difficult, not being able to go as fast as I'm capable of, but that's what practice is for - ironing out problems. Tomorrow is another day, and I'm looking forward to showing what I can do. Believe me, you haven't seen the best of me yet." Markus Winkelhock: "Both sessions were actually quite OK. In the first session, I had first of all to learn the track, because I've never driven here before. By the end though, I felt comfortable with the car and with the track, although I wasn't pushing too much. In the second session, the car was feeling quite good - we made some noticeable improvements. But at the end, I was somewhat unlucky, as I went out with new sets of tyres twice and didn't get to really make the most of them. The first time I spun, and the second time there was a yellow flag because of someone else. So, a bit unlucky, but in the end, it was quite useful to find some good tyres for the races and for qualifying. Overall, I'm happy with the way things went."
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