The Minardi F1 Team this afternoon concluded a very positive weekend at the Hockenheimring, with Christijan Albers securing an excellent 13th place in the German Grand Prix and new team mate, Robert Doornbos, completing his first Formula One race...
The Minardi F1 Team this afternoon concluded a very positive weekend at the Hockenheimring, with Christijan Albers securing an excellent 13th place in the German Grand Prix and new team mate, Robert Doornbos, completing his first Formula One race in 18th.
The event was not without incident for the Dutch duo, however, Albers' car losing one of its bargeboards in a first-lap skirmish and Doorbos being forced to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap four, after his car was in collision with Jacques Villeneuve's Sauber.
While refuelling the car, the Team's mechanics detected a puncture, which necessitated a tyre change. Unfortunately, it also resulted in the assessment of a stop-and-go penalty. Despite the incidents, however, both drivers pressed on to the finish, running strongly and consistently.
This was undoubtedly the Faenza squad's most competitive race weekend of the season so far, and will see the Team heading into next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix with hopes for another competitive performance.
"I'm pleased to have finished, although it turned out to be a tough race, as the car set-up was not quite what we had aimed for. Looking at it positively, however, it's something we can improve on for the next race, and hopefully gain some more performance."
That said, even though the car may not have been perfect today, it was raceable, and as a result, we were able to do a reasonable job. Certainly, I'm pleased with the outcome of the race, but I think it could have been even a little better."
"I'm happy to have finished my first Grand Prix, although it was definitely a very eventful race. I had a problem at the start with the launch control, and therefore did a manual start. I'm sure it looked dramatic, with lots of wheelspin, but I lost position against some of the other cars."
"Once I got going, the first lap was chaos. It was very good for me, though, as I gained a number of positions. Then, on the third lap, as we arrived at the Arena, my car took a big hit from Villeneuve and I spun."
"As a result, I had to make an unscheduled stop to have the car checked, and that was quite a shame because I think we had the pace to stay with the Jordans and to stay close to my team mate."
"If we were going to have a bit of bad luck, though, it's maybe preferable to get it out of the way today, at the first race, and then next week it will all go a lot better. I'm feeling fit and now looking forward to Hungary."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Today, the Minardi F1 Team achieved one of its year-long goals, by putting in a solid performance all weekend to finish ahead of its nearest rivals."
"Both drivers, who had to deal with damaged cars as the result of separate first-lap incidents, put in truly gutsy performances this afternoon. That, combined with the continuing hard work by the race team and all the staff back at the factory, is paying off. Well done to everybody!"
Best lap: 1 min 18.425 secs
Best lap: 1 min 19.025 secs