A new qualifying system, coupled with shifting track conditions, proved disadvantageous for MF1 Racing at Sakhir on Saturday.
Tiago Monteiro and Christijan Albers, both accustomed to the one-lap qualifying system they drove under in their rookie seasons last year, could not improve on their times from morning practice and were eliminated from the qualifying session after the first round. Gusting winds and blowing sand did nothing to help the situation for either driver.
Nevertheless, the team feels it can overcome this minor setback and make an improved showing in tomorrow's race.
Adrian Burgess, Sporting Director: "It was our first attempt at a new qualifying system and so far, we've seen a few strange events happen, which has been interesting for all of us. We're not particularly happy being 18th and 19th and we know we've got a lot of work to do. There's a lot of potential in the car, so I think there might an opportunity for us to do something tomorrow. We'll just keep trying to improve as we go on."
Tiago Monteiro: "The changing conditions caught us a bit by surprise, so my first lap wasn't as good as it should have been. My front wing adjuster broke on that run, and then a subsequent technical problem in the garage prevented me from getting out in time and putting in a real qualifying run. Needless to say, this disappointed me, but worse things can happen. Now I just have to focus on having a good race tomorrow, and I'm sure everyone on the team will be motivated to do better."
Christijan Albers: "We had some problems with the wind today, which made things quite difficult at times. The first run was not so bad, but on the second run I really had some problems with traffic. It was really just too busy during the warm-up procedure on the first lap, which in turn made the car feel a little bit nervous. That's why I wasn't able to improve on my time, which should have been somewhere in the one-thirty-fours, easily, so it's a shame. But I'm still looking forward to tomorrow, because even though we might be down a little bit on qualifying pace, I think we'll be stronger in the race. I have a lot of trust in the car and in the team."