The Midland Group has announced the signing of Christijan Albers as one of its race drivers for the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Midland will relaunch the team formerly known as Jordan Grand Prix under its own banner on 15 November 2005. Albers will conduct his first test with the team on 7 December 2005 at Jerez, Spain.
Following a successful career in various Championships and a promising rookie season in Formula One with the Minardi F1 Team in 2005, Albers is the first driver to sign a race contract with Midland for 2006.
Colin Kolles, Managing Director of Jordan Grand Prix, stated: "I have known Christijan since 1999, when he was driving successfully in Formula 3 in Germany, winning six races and starting 10 times from pole. Since then, I have followed his motorsport career with keen interest. He is very competitive, professional and a proven race winner. I am confident he will acclimatise himself to our team very quickly and help us with the car's development throughout the season."
Christijan Albers commented: "I am really happy to be taking the next step in my F1 career with the Midland team. I appreciate all I have learned with Minardi this season, and look on this move as a step forward. It is by far the most challenging option for the future. I know the team a little bit already, as I tested with them in December 2004; and I have known Colin since 1999, when I had a very successful F3 season in Germany. I am impressed by the way the team, along with partners Bridgestone and Toyota, are developing the new car. I am really looking forward to the first test at Jerez on 7 December in the team's cool new colours and will do my very best to help the team move forward on the grid. I should like to thank Mr. Shnaider and Mr. Kolles for their confidence in me as a race driver. My thanks also to my sponsors for their renewed support: the investors represented by Peter-Jan Rubingh; my management and marketing agency GR8 Industries.com; Essentially Group who deal with final negotiations and legal affairs; and ABN AMRO Bank; all of whom are have done a great job. Last but not least, I'd also like to thank my fantastic group of fans, who support me day and night."