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The Midland M16 - Russia's first Formula 1 car

Midland MF1 Racing - 2006 launch

On this day in 2006, the newly-christened Midland F1 Racing team unveiled its first car at Silverstone. After posing for the media (above), the team took the M16 out for its first track run (below).

Billionaire Alex Schnaider had bought Eddie Jordan's team the previous year, but had kept the Jordan brand. For 2006 the team took on a new name and also raced under a Russian license for the first time. That makes the M16 the first Russian can in the history of Grand Prix racing.

The teams' drivers were Portugal's Tiago Monteiro and Dutch driver Christijan Albers. Unfortunately neither driver managed to finish in the points, suffering 13 retirements between them in the 18-race season. The team was disqualified from the German GP for running an illegal flexible wing.

Later in the season, Schnaider sold the team. No longer running under the Russian flag, it was renamed Spyker F1. After a further sale at the end of 2007, it became Force India from 2008.

Midland MF1 Racing - 2006 launch

Formula 1 didn't see its first Russian-born driver until 2010. That's when Vitaly Petrov made his bow with the Renault team in that year's Bahrain Grand Prix. Petrov stayed with the newly re-branded Lotus-Renault in 2011, and moved to Caterham for his final season in F1.

GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat became the second Russian to compete in Formula 1. His first race with Toro Rosso was the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. The following year he was promoted ot the senior Red Bull team, but the following year was replaced by Max Verstappen. He went back to Toro Rosso but was finally dropped after the 2017 US Grand Prix.

This year Russia will continue to be represented on the Formula 1 grid. This time it will be Sergey Sirotkin in his rookie season for Williams. He was previously a test driver for Sauber and Renault before getting the call-up at Grove.

Midland MF1 Racing - 2006 launch

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