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Albers clinches first Midland race seat 01 Nov 2005

Christijan Albers (NDL) Minardi.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 14 October 2005

Christijan Albers, a racer for Minardi in 2005, will become a Midland driver in 2006, it was announced on Tuesday. Albers’ is the first race seat to be confirmed by the new team, whose official transformation from Jordan will take place on November 15.

Albers, a former German Formula Three champion and a veteran of the International Formula 3000 and German DTM series, will conduct his first test with Midland on December 7 at Jerez in Spain.

"I am really happy to be taking the next step in my F1 career with the Midland team,” said the Dutchman. “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 (Jordan Managing Director) Colin (Kolles) 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 in the team's cool new colours and will do my very best to help the team move forward on the grid.”

Welcoming the team’s new arrival, Kolles commented: "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."

Albers, who scored four points in his rookie year with Minardi thanks to his fifth place in the US Grand Prix, will be joined at Midland by compatriot Nicky Pastorelli, who has already been signed as the team’s test and third driver.