Despite promising signs of progress on Friday and Saturday, the Minardi F1 Team had what could only be described as a disastrous 2005 Spanish Grand Prix. Starting from 14th and 15th places respectively, drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick ...
Despite promising signs of progress on Friday and Saturday, the Minardi F1 Team had what could only be described as a disastrous 2005 Spanish Grand Prix. Starting from 14th and 15th places respectively, drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher were unable to get away from the starting grid as the result of an electronic control problem.
After some frantic work by the team, the engines were restarted and both cars joined the race, albeit two laps down on the rest of the field. The drivers then pressed on, determined to retrieve whatever they could from the event.
Unfortunately, Friesacher retired on lap 13, when his car ran onto a dirty section of track and spun into a gravel trap, while Albers pressed on for a further eight laps before a suspected gearbox problem ended his race prematurely.
"It's really a shame we had some problems in the race today because we had a good qualifying here in Barcelona, and I think we could have been competitive against the Jordans. Now we will have to wait until Monaco to see what we can do. It's also a shame for the whole Minardi team, which has been working really hard."
"It would have been good to finish the race in order to get more data on the new car, but even so, we can take some satisfaction from our performance in this weekend's qualifying sessions. Now it's maximum attack for the next race."
"I don't know exactly what happened at the start -- I just let out the clutch and suddenly the engine shut down. After that, we couldn't get the car into neutral so we lost some time while the problem was sorted out, but we were able to join the race and start putting in some reasonable laps."
"Then at corner three, I turned in normally, but picked up some understeer. As a result, the car got onto a dirty part of the track, and that was it -- I ended up in the gravel. It's disappointing, and especially for the guys, who have again been working so hard this weekend."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Motor racing is often about highs and lows, and today was definitely a low. All in all, it has not been a good weekend for the Minardi team in Spain, so let's hope Monaco, in two weeks, will be better."
Best lap: 1 min 20.124 secs
Best lap: 1 min 20.865 secs