Honda F1 website

APRIL 14, 2006

Midland hits back

Following recent speculation that managing director Colin Kolles is about to decamp, following sporting director Adrian Burgess out of the door, MF1 Racing has taken the unusual step of issuing a press release confirming that it is alive and well and not about to lose further staff.

This is what it said:

'Over the past week, there have been a number of speculative rumours published in the media, none of which has any basis in fact. MF1's general policy is not to respond to such unfounded rumours, but rather to concentrate on the job at hand. However, in this case we would like to make an exception, in order to re-assure the stakeholders in our team and to clarify the situation for the media. Beyond this, we have no further comment to make on this matter.

'MF1 has adequate budget to take an active and competitive part in the championship this season and we are working hard to close the gap between ourselves and our competitors.

'Midland Group, our parent organisation, has confirmed that the team is not for sale and there are no proposals that this should change. As expected, various approaches have been made, especially in view of the large number of entries for the 2008 championship. Without exception, these have been rejected.

'Midland Group has also approved significant further investment in team infrastructure. We are therefore also pleased to announce that the project to upgrade our wind tunnel facility will begin very shortly. This will entail an increase in scale to 50%.

'The staff at the tunnel has been producing amazing results in recent weeks and the progress they have made has contributed greatly to our ability to push ahead. Everyone at MF1 is passionate about racing and we all want our cars to be faster and more stable at speed. We believe that the key to this - both today and in the future - is aerodynamics, and hence the priority given to the wind tunnel upgrade. When the modifications are complete, our Brackley facility will be "state of the art".

'The personnel changes of the past week reflect the faith and appreciation we have in the skill and dedication of our remaining people. We do not know the source(s) of the current spate of negative rumours, but unfortunately it is often the case that false speculation appears in the media around the time that such changes are made. We wish it to be known that these changes occurred precisely because of the team's faith in the capabilities and loyalty of our people, throughout the team and at our facilities. Since the acquisition of Jordan, some 15 months ago, the new owners have been impressed by the racing tradition embodied by the staff.

'Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "Personally, I would like to thank our staff, sponsors, partners and suppliers for their patience and understanding in recent weeks. In light of these positive developments, I am more determined than ever to drive us forward, toward the sharp end of the grid. To my detractors and those speculating about my 'imminent departure', I regret to say that I have been, and remain, too busy focusing on the interests of the team to consider any alternatives to my current position."'

So now you know.