Robert Doornbos ended his Formula One season 2005 by finishing the Chinese Grand Prix, which was won by Fernando Alonso, in 14th position. In the final race of the Minardi F1 Team, Doornbos delivered a solid drive in which he led his teammate all...
Robert Doornbos ended his Formula One season 2005 by finishing the Chinese Grand Prix, which was won by Fernando Alonso, in 14th position. In the final race of the Minardi F1 Team, Doornbos delivered a solid drive in which he led his teammate all the way and had some encouraging fights with both Jordans and Jacques Villeneuve.
Because both Michael Schumacher and Christijan Albers had to start out of the pitlane and Narain Karthikeyan had to refuel before the start, Robert Doornbos climbed up to P17 in the first lap.
In the opening stage, Schumacher soon passed Doornbos, who completed his first stint in eighteenth position. At the same moment Doornbos made his first pitstop in lap 18, the safety-car neutralised the race after Juan-Pablo Montoya hit a lose drain cover.
In the restart which followed in lap 24, Doornbos saw a chance to overtake both Tiago Monteiro and Jacques Villeneuve. On from the 15th position, the Rotterdam-born driver started chasing Narain Karthikeyan. As the Jordan driver crashed out only five laps later, the safety-car was employed for a second time.
Together with his team Doornbos decided to make his second and final pitstop as the race was already halfway. Because Takuma Sato retired and Jarno Trulli suffered from a problem in the final stages, Doornbos finished Minardi's final race in 14th position.
"It feels good to end the season like this and I'm proud to have finished Minardi's final race in 14th position. They often say you're as good as your last race and today I could even fight with Villeneuve and Pizzonia."
"During this season I've learned a lot and today I was also able to put some of this in practise as I could attack and overtake a few Michelin-runners on cold tyres after the safety-car was deployed. Next to this my laptimes were very consistent, so I'm happy to have finished my season on a high!"