Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher may have retired from today's San Marino Grand Prix, but the Faenza squad was able to take heart from the fact it had debuted its new Minardi Cosworth PS05 and taken away a great...
Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher may have retired from today's San Marino Grand Prix, but the Faenza squad was able to take heart from the fact it had debuted its new Minardi Cosworth PS05 and taken away a great deal of useful data from the weekend.
Both cars were forced into retirement as the result of gearbox-related problems, Friesacher coasting down the pit lane on lap nine with what turned out to be a broken clutch shaft, and Albers running well until lap 20, when a serious fluid leak was discovered during the first scheduled pit stop and the team had no choice but to retire the car in order to avoid damage to the new gearbox.
The outcome of today's race was scant reward for the monumental effort put in by team personnel over recent weeks to ensure a pair of Minardi Cosworth PS05s were able to compete in this weekend's race, but all concerned could take heart from the progress that has been made in a very short time and the potential that clearly exists for the future.
"The first thing is that we did some race laps today and learned a lot about the new car. During the first stint, I had strong oversteer, which we were going to deal with at the pit stop, but unfortunately, there was quite a bad leak from the gearbox and I was not able to continue. I wish we could have delivered a better result to the guys for all the work they have put in, but it was not possible this weekend. We'll see what we can do in Barcelona."
"The start was not too bad, and I was quite happy with the opening laps, as I was ahead of Christijan and able to stay with Monteiro, but then suddenly, as I was accelerating out of the last corner, it seemed like something broke. Generally, the car felt good today, but we need to find some more downforce. We'll be working on this area when we test at Mugello on Wednesday and Thursday of this week."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Despite a valiant effort by the drivers and the whole team, it wasn't really a surprise that reliability stopped both Minardis in today's race, as one has to consider that this is the first serious outing for the PS05."
"Both failures were gearbox-related, and hopefully, this week's Mugello test will give the team the opportunity to perfect certain aspects of the car. On a positive note, though, we believe the overall potential of the new package, especially of the Cosworth TJ2005 engine, bodes very well for the future."
Best lap: 1 min 27.420 secs
Best lap: 1 min 28.334 secs