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Mondini and Sutil sign MF1 test deals 03 Feb 2006

(L to R): Adrian Sutil (GER) MF1 Racing Test Driver, Giorgio Mondini (ITA) MF1 Racing Test Driver and Markus Winkelhock (GER) MF1 Racing Test Driver. Midland MF1 Racing Launch, Silverstone, England, 3 February 2006. World ©  Hartley/Sutton

MF1 Racing have announced Switzerland’s Giorgio Mondini and Germany’s Adrian Sutil as additions to their test-driver line-up for the coming season. Mondini will serve as the team’s third driver in nine Grand Prix Fridays, while Sutil will also get a chance to take on the role as MF1’s official ‘Junior Driver’.

Mondini, from Geneva, was a relatively late starter to racing, competing in his first Formula Renault Championship in 2001. The now 25-year-old, a graduate of the famous Henry Morough Racing School in Italy, quickly showed speed and went on to win the Renault V6 Championship in 2004.

He graduated to the World Series by Renault for the start of the 2005, before joining David Price Racing's GP2 team for the second half of the season. His performances earned him a Formula One test with Renault last December.

“That test whetted my appetite for Formula One and I am delighted to have this opportunity with MF1 Racing,” said Mondini. “The new car looks really good and I can't wait to drive it.”

Sutil was runner-up in the 2005 F3 Euroseries Championship. The 22-year-old from Munich is a gifted pianist and was expected to follow his violinist father, Jorge, into a musical career until he discovered karting at the age of 14.

"From that moment on, Formula One has been my goal," he explained. "This opportunity with MF1, at an early stage in my development as a driver, is a dream come true. I know that if I work really hard, I can repay the confidence that has been shown in me and earn a place among the top drivers in the world."

Explaining MF1’s decision to sign Sutil, Managing Director Colin Kolles commented: "Adrian drove for my F3 team in his rookie Euroseries season. When he earned pole position in just his third race, I was more than just impressed - I was convinced that he was a talent for the future. As MF1's Junior Driver in 2006, he will have the opportunity to mature professionally in a Formula 1 environment and prepare himself thoroughly for what I believe will be a great F1 career."

Mondini and Sutil join MF1’s other testers, Germany’s Markus Winkelhock and Roman Rusinov from Russia. That extensive line-up means at least three drivers - Winkelhock, Mondini and Sutil - are expected to share the Friday third-driver role for MF1 over the course of the 2006 season.