Italian GP: Minardi Friday practice notes

The opening day of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza turned out to be a very satisfactory one for Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos, and Friday tester, Enrico Toccacelo. Assisted by the knowledge gained and data...

The opening day of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza turned out to be a very satisfactory one for Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos, and Friday tester, Enrico Toccacelo.

Assisted by the knowledge gained and data accumulated during the recent Monza test, all three men quickly got to grips with the Formula One World Championship's fastest circuit, and steadily reduced their laps times.

The exemplary reliability of the team's three cars also allowed the drivers to focus on developing a good chassis set-up to cope with the demands of the challenging Italian circuit, which are distinctly different from those posed by a number of the tracks visited recently by the Formula One teams.

Robert Doornbos:

"Back in Monza within a week -- it's great that we tested here for a full day, as we gathered so much data and know so much more about the car. For me, it was also a very good opportunity to get to know the guys even better."

"The circuit I already know from F3000, and in fact, I was spraying the champagne here last year when I met the Minardi team for the first time. We didn't run too much today, as we have a new engine, and therefore also have to think about next weekend, in Spa."

"At the end of the day, though, we found a reasonable set-up, and we hope to continue the work tomorrow. The aim, as usual, will be to do a strong qualifying lap, and to have another good fight in the race."

Christijan Albers:

"We had a good morning session today, and in the afternoon, we found some things that we feel can be improved, so we will have to check the data and see what we can do for tomorrow. It was a shame that I ran a little bit wide at one of the corners on what should have been my quickest lap, and lost some time as a result. It's only Friday, though, and tomorrow's a much more important day."

Enrico Toccacelo:

"I'm quite satisfied with our performance today, especially considering the programme we were running. Unfortunately, I encountered quite a bit of traffic on my last run, when I should have been able to set my fastest lap. I think I lost a minimum of half a second when I encountered Barrichello in the second chicane."

"Anyway, we were able to do a good tyre comparison this afternoon, and I recorded a number of very consistent lap times. I think we have done a good job, which should help the guys with their work tomorrow."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:

"It has been a good start to the Monza weekend, and there is no doubt our two-day test here last week has helped the drivers and technical staff in terms of 'homing in' on a suitable chassis set-up for this very fast circuit. It was particularly satisfying that all three cars ran without any problems today, thus allowing the drivers to work through their technical programmes without interruption."

"It was also pleasing that Enrico ran for nearly 40 laps over the two sessions, and judging by his times, was definitely getting to grips with both the track and the Minardi Cosworth PS05. We now look forward to another productive day tomorrow."

ROBERT DOORNBOS
Chassis: PS05/02
Best lap: 1 min 24.233 secs
Position: 22nd

CHRISTIJAN ALBERS
Chassis: PS05/01
Best lap: 1 min 24.264 secs
Position: 23rd

ENRICO TOCCACELO
Chassis: PS05/03
Best lap: 1 min 25.245 secs
Position: 24th

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Christijan Albers , Paul Stoddart , Robert Doornbos
Teams Minardi