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MRD Racing were a British team in FF1M. They were formed shortly before the 1999 FF1M Season by Scotsman Marc Downie and took a brilliant driver's championship thanks to Jarno Trulli's efforts. In their 9 season career, MRD raced in 149 Grand Prix, taking 21 wins in those races and two driver's championships [1999 (Jarno Trulli), 2002 (Fernando Alonso)].

History

FF1M

Shortly before the 1999 season MRD laid the foundations for their team by signing Repsol to fund their assault on FF1M. They began the 1999 season with Bruno Junqueira and Nick Heidfeld, however, by the second race in Brazil, Junqueira had been replaced by impressive rookie and FF2M champ Jarno Trulli. Their Ferrari engine was particularly strong enabling Heidfeld to score his maiden win at the Austrian Grand Prix, but Trulli went a few better than that. Out of the last six races, Trulli finished all of them on the podium scoring enough points to secure the driver's championship for himself. MRD ended their first season an impressive 3rd ahead of Maestro Motorsports.

The 2000 season began with a lot of promise, with a big money deal with drinks giant Red Bull, 3-time champion Fernando Alonso at the wheel teamed up with Kimi Raikkonen. Despite questionable reliability from the car, Fernando Alonso had a major opportunity to make it two driver's championships in a row for MRD after key runners Schumacher and Trulli retired, but it wasn't meant to be as transmission failure ruined any chance of claiming the title. 4 wins throughout the season secured 2nd place in the constructor's championship for MRD.

The team was looking forward to better fortunes in 2001 as Jarno Trulli returned as a back-to-back champion, supported by rookie Felipe Massa. Unfortunately for MRD and all other Bridgestone runners, the Michelin-equipped teams had a great advantage in the very beginning of the season and until the first in-season test Trulli could only manage 7th and 8th place finishes, well ahead of any other Bridgestone racers. Once the Bridgestones had a chance to catch up, Trulli began to shine brighter taking a win in the 5th round, in Spain. From there on, Trulli won another 3 races and alternated retirements with low points-scoring positions. Ultimately Trulli's incredible work put the team in a very solid 4th place in the championship, a 3-place improvement over its pre-season predictions.

For 2002, MRD, aiming to return to the front, signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Panasonic, enabling them to sign former champion Fernando Alonso to partner Massa. Alonso's start to the season was electric, winning 3 of the first four races. Fernando then engaged in a battle with Tornado's Juan Pablo Montoya, but the Spaniard drove consistently when it really mattered, finishing races where Montoya had difficulty. Despite not adding to his winning tally, Alonso won the driver's championship convincingly. Massa's season however was a disaster, only scoring 7 points and resulting in only 4th in the constructor's championship for MRD.

Due to Massa's poor performances, he was dropped despite having a contract extension for the 2003 season. Instead, Alonso was joined by Brit Jenson Button. The season however was more of a development season as the MRD-Mercedes was no match for the Dark Wolf, Pedersen and FJR teams. Throughout the season, team boss Marc Downie had refused to develop a turbo for their car, despite the success it gave to the top three teams. As the season progressed, so did both drivers, as Alonso and Button both won a race each in the last two races. MRD ended the season 4th in the constructor's championship.

Alonso remained with MRD for 2004, but was joined by Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya. Having won the last two races of the season, hopes were high for team boss Marc Downie, but the Bridgestone tyres proved to be a handicap. Unlike rivals FJR, MRD's car and engine combination wasn't able to overcome the deficiencies, and throughout the season, Downie was bitterly unhappy with the engine rules as he felt that his turbo powered rivals were getting a huge advantage. Alonso had a strong start to the season with 2 podiums in the first 3 races and MRD were briefly 3rd in the constructor's championship, but that was their peak. They did end up as the highest placed naturally aspirated team, but it was MRD's first winless campaign in their FF1M history.

It was all change for 2005 with Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen making it an all Finnish line-up. Changes to the engine rules and the introduction of a single tyre manufacturer meant that MRD stood a more competitive chance with a very powerful Mercedes engine. Once again, MRD had a strong start to the season with Raikkonen taking 3 podium finishes in the first 4 races including a brilliant win at Imola where he neatly avoided the first lap carnage, but the atrocious reliability of the Mercedes engine had damaged any hopes of remaining in the championship fight with 22 out of 34 retirements. The end result was 5th in the championship, which was actually better than what the paddock predicted pre-season.

For 2006, MRD secured a new sponsor in the form of whiskey giants Johnnie Walker. Fernando Alonso was also reunited with his old team to partner Kimi Raikkonen, repeating the 2000 line-up and making it one of the strongest driver line-ups in the field. Alonso took a victory at the Turkish Grand Prix, his first win since the 2003 United States Grand Prix during his previous stint with MRD, but the car however was no match against FJR and Shannon, and Alonso's win proved to the only one of the season. After a titantic season long battle against veterans Dodgem throughout the season, MRD eventually beat them to 4th in the constructor's championship.

Kimi Raikkonen was retained for a third successive season and had a third successive new teammate in the form of German Timo Glock. Aside from a totally new livery trying to promote green initiatives, the biggest change was Honda replacing Mercedes as MRD's powerplant. As it turned out, the engine proved to be a huge problem. The reliability wasn't too bad, but there was a severe power shortage which came to a head at Hockenheim as MRD failed to qualify. Raikkonen did bounce back in the best possible way with pole position at the Hungaroring, a circuit where power isn't so important, but after experiencing their worst season, MRD announced that he was pulling out of the series.

Results

Year Engine Ch. Pos Races Points Wins Drivers Ch. Pos Races Points Wins
1999 Ferrari (Works) 3rd 17 126 6 22px-Flag of Brazil.svg-1- Bruno Junqueria 23rd 1 0
22px-Flag of Italy.svg-1- Jarno Trulli 1st 16 91 5
22px-Flag of Germany.svg-1- Nick Heidfeld 9th 17 34 1
2000 Ferrari (Works) 2nd 16 120 4 22px-Flag of Spain.svg-1- Fernando Alonso 4th 16 73 1
22px-Flag of Finland.svg-1- Kimi Raikkonen 6th 16 47 3
2001 Ferrari 4th 17 87 4 22px-Flag of Italy.svg-1- Jarno Trulli 4th 17 69 4
22px-Flag of Brazil.svg-1- Felipe Massa 11th 17 18
2002 Mercedes 4th 16 101 3 22px-Flag of Spain.svg-1- Fernando Alonso 1st 16 94 3
22px-Flag of Brazil.svg-1- Felipe Massa 16th 16 7
2003 Mercedes 4th 16 62 2 22px-Flag of Spain.svg-1- Fernando Alonso 5th 16 44 1
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.svg-1- Jenson Button 16th 16 18 1
2004 Mercedes V8 7th 17 43 22px-Flag of Spain.svg-1- Fernando Alonso 10th 17 27
22px-Flag of Colombia.svg-1- Juan Pablo Montoya 16th 17 16
2005 Mercedes V8 5th 17 59 1 22px-Flag of Finland.svg-1- Kimi Raikkonen 5th 17 48 1
22px-Flag of Finland.svg-1- Heikki Kovalainen 17th 17 11
2006 Mercedes V8 4th 17 83 1 22px-Flag of Finland.svg-1- Kimi Raikkonen 8th 17 34
22px-Flag of Spain.svg-1- Fernando Alonso 4th 17 49 1
2007 Honda V8 8th 16* 27 22px-Flag of Finland.svg-1- Kimi Raikkonen 11th 16* 20
22px-Flag of Germany.svg-1- Timo Glock 16th 16* 7
  • MRD failed to qualify for the 2007 German Grand Prix

FF2M

MRD Racing also runs MRD Junior, an FF2M team. The team has competed since 1999 and won a constructor's championship in the 2001 season. 2003 was their last season to date.

Results

Season Engine Ch. Pos Races Points Wins Drivers Ch. Pos Races Points Wins
1999 Renault 6th 12 42 22px-Flag of Japan.svg-1- Toranasuke Takagi 13th 12 20
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.svg-1- Oliver Gavin 12th 12 22
2001 Renault 1st 12 141 3 22px-Flag of Brazil.svg-1- Rubens Barrichello 5th 12 68 2
22px-Flag of Australia.svg-1- Mark Webber 3rd 12 73 1
2002 Renault 2nd 12 112 2 22px-Flag of France.svg-1- Sebastien Bourdais 2nd 12 60 1
22px-Flag of Italy.svg-1- Giorgio Pantano 5th 12 52 1
2003 Renault 3rd 12 99 3 22px-Flag of Italy.svg-1- Giorgio Pantano 2nd 12 87 3
22px-Flag of South Africa.svg-1- Tomas Scheckter 18th 12 12

Notes

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