Midland F1 Racing have been in Formula One for over a year now, and although the team raced as Jordan Grand Prix in 2005, they were very much the same Midland team that was launched last month.
During the transition year, Jordan/Midland were struggling with a car that was undeveloped and under funded. Nevertheless, the car's reliability last season was unmatched and the team finished in the points in two races. And with cash coming from a myriad of sponsors and the Midland Group, the team have had the budget to be able to design an all-new car for 2006 - the M16.
Last year's car was a simple re-engine (to Toyota from Cosworth) of the 2004 car, itself carrying a lot of parts over from the 2003 car. Signs of a financial resurgence produced the much-revised EJ15B, and although the car had some initial cooling issues, it was aerodynamically a major departure from the recent run of EJ cars.
Engineering common sense prevailed at Jordan, and the EJ15 and 15B used simple low cost, low weight solutions. This of course resulted in a car that was no match for the midfield in most circumstances. The battle with Minardi (running an all-new car in 2005) was close, and the difference may have been down to the drivers and good fortune on the day. Overall, though, the Jordan did prove to be the slightly better car.