The inaugural Grand Prix of Turkey turned out to be an event of markedly differing fortunes for Minardi F1 Team drivers Robert Doornbos and Christijan Albers. Doornbos scored his best result in the three races he has driven for the Faenza squad,...
The inaugural Grand Prix of Turkey turned out to be an event of markedly differing fortunes for Minardi F1 Team drivers Robert Doornbos and Christijan Albers.
Doornbos scored his best result in the three races he has driven for the Faenza squad, finishing in an excellent 13th position, and ahead of both Jordan entries. The only worrying moment came when his car stalled leaving the pits at the end of the first fuel stop, but quick work by the Minardi crew got Doornbos back on track again quickly.
As the event progressed, it became clear the team's hard tyre-heavy fuel strategy, although compromising the qualifying performance of both drivers, was the correct one for the race.
Albers' race pace would undoubtedly have seen him finish strongly as well, but a number of problems forced him to make two unscheduled pit stops. When it became clear there was no chance of improving his position in the final race classification, the team decided to retire the car.
"What a race! I really had a lot of fun and I finished it quite easily. I'm also happy with my physical shape at the end of what was a tough Grand Prix. The car actually got better as the race progressed and I think we could have continued, as the tyres were still in good shape."
"I had a great start for the first time, and dived inside Villeneuve, which was fun. After that, I was able to keep up a strong pace, and to have raced the Jordans and finished in front of them, what can I say? I'm a happy chappy!
"I think we had a reasonable qualifying, especially as we had a lot of fuel in the car and chose the hard tyre. It was shame, though, that we had problems in the race, and also encountered difficulties with the refuelling rigs."
"It's really disappointing to have these problems when the car is obviously becoming more competitive, but I think it was the right decision to stay out for as long as we could in the race in order to achieve the best possible qualifying slot for the next Grand Prix."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"We knew we had a good strategy for the weekend, which we proved today, and Robert put in a gutsy drive to finish 13th in the race. Sadly, Christijan suffered a multitude of problems, ranging from a fuel rig failure to gear selection difficulties; however, he almost reached the chequered flag, and put in a sterling performance in the process."
"It's quite clear that the Minardi Cosworth PS05 is improving race by race, albeit with a few reliability issues still to be ironed out."
Best lap: 1 min 29.229 secs
Best lap: 1 min 29.392 secs
Position: Not classified