Minardi's Robert Doornbos made a strong appearance in today's Free Practices ahead of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix. At the new 5,340 kilometer long Istanbul Park circuit, the 23-year old Dutchman bounced back with a fastest time of 1:30.628 in...
Minardi's Robert Doornbos made a strong appearance in today's Free Practices ahead of the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix. At the new 5,340 kilometer long Istanbul Park circuit, the 23-year old Dutchman bounced back with a fastest time of 1:30.628 in the afternoon session after he overcame mechanical trouble in the opening session between 11:00 and 12:00 hours. With his best laptime, Doornbos emerged faster as both of his teammates and Jordan drivers Karthikeyan and Kiesa.
As the brand new Istanbul Park complex was new for all teams, all 25 drivers immediately choose to go out only seconds after the first Free Practice session got started. Just like his colleagues, Doornbos used the first session to get acclimatised with the track and its conditions and to find a good set-up for his Minardi. Halfway through the first practice at the Bosporus-side track suddenly some problems with the gearbox arose and Doornbos was forced to prematurely end his first hour of practice.
After the team had solved the problem over the lunch, Doornbos was able to get back in action in the final 30 minutes of the second Free Practice session. With a slightly adapted programme, Doornbos set a fastest lap time of 1:30.628 in only 16 laps in order to finish the day in a respectable 21th position. If his best lap time would have been only 0.002 seconds faster, Doornbos would have been the quickest of all Minardi and Jordan drivers. Only Tiago Monteiro positioned himself in front of the Dutch debutant now with this small margin.
"It feels extremely good to get back in action during a GP after our three week break. In the past few weeks I've tested this circuit a lot of times at the Playstation, but in reality this track is even more impressive! Especially the first combination of corners, which is just like the one in Brazil, and Turn 8, four fast left handers, you live up to every single lap."
"Compliments also go out to my mechanics who did a great job to get the car back on track after we suffered from an oil leak this morning. I hope we can leave the bad luck behind us for the remainder of this weekend in order to build on from our strong performance here today!"