European Minardi F1 drivers, Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques, this afternoon both qualified comfortably for tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix. The day didn't go precisely according to plan, however, Marques' preparations for qualifying being ...
European Minardi F1 drivers, Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques, this afternoon both qualified comfortably for tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix. The day didn't go precisely according to plan, however, Marques' preparations for qualifying being interrupted when team engineers deemed it prudent to change an engine after the first 45-minute practice session. By comparison, Alonso ran strongly throughout the morning and looked set to secure a good grid position. Unfortunately, difficult "traffic conditions" during his last qualifying run prevented him from achieving an optimum lap and he had to settle for 19th position on the grid, three places ahead of his team mate.
"This morning we made a few chassis changes, focusing on finding some improvement on the front end of the car, and it actually began to go better lap after lap. I am quite happy with my qualifying result, although we definitely could have improved a bit more, especially on the final run. Unfortunately, there was a lot of traffic on the track during my last attempt and I was hindered by other cars. If not for that, I could have reduced my lap time by two or three tenths, and finished ahead of (Giancarlo) Fisichella."
"Today was a bit disappointing because we were not able to obtain a good qualifying result despite improving the car quite a lot. This morning, an engine problem ended my practice session early and I was not able to continue. As a result, we never knew how the balance of the car would be in qualifying trim. We made a lot of changes and just set the chassis up the best we could for the afternoon session. For sure, if we had been able to run in this morning's second session, it would have helped me achieve a better grid position. It's a shame we lost the opportunity because there is good potential in the car."
"We're very pleased -- it was a good qualifying session from the European Minardi standpoint. The closeness of the times once again demonstrates just how tight the World Championship is this year. It's a shame, however, that what was potentially Fernando's fastest run was spoiled by traffic. If it hadn't been for that, he would undoubtedly have ended up ahead of both Benettons. Unfortunately for Tarso, he missed the entire second session this morning with an unscheduled engine change, and therefore did well to get into the 1:16s in qualifying. All things considered, though, we start from a reasonable position in tomorrow's race and have to hope for a strong finish for both drivers."