Five days after the conclusion of the Canadian Grand Prix, the Minardi F1 Team, along with other members of the Formula One World Championship Paddock, today commenced preparations for this Sunday's United States Grand Prix. Staged at the ...
Five days after the conclusion of the Canadian Grand Prix, the Minardi F1 Team, along with other members of the Formula One World Championship Paddock, today commenced preparations for this Sunday's United States Grand Prix.
Staged at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the past five years, the circuit is one of the most unusual in Formula One, combining the demands for flat-out performance on the Speedway's banking with good handling on the very tight infield section.
Minardi drivers Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers, both experiencing the Indiana track for the first time, came away pleased with their first day's work. Friesacher lost time midway through the afternoon session with a gearbox-related problem, but a superb effort by the team's mechanics saw the unit changed in 18 minutes and the Austrian driver back on track before the end of the session.
"It has not been a bad day, and although we had a problem with the gearbox this afternoon, which lost us some time, generally, we improved the car. We still have some more work to do, particularly on the front end, but I think we can make another step forward tomorrow. I would particularly like to compliment the guys and thank them for their efforts, as they performed something close to a miracle this afternoon to change the gearbox so quickly, which allowed me to get out on track again."
"We had a bit of a slow start this morning, and didn't put in so many laps, as we knew the track would improve a lot during the day. This afternoon, I think we had a good programme, and I'm feeling confident for tomorrow. It was a bit of a shame that I had some traffic on my new-tyre run, as it lost us a little time. This evening, we will choose which tyre compound we will go with for the remainder of the weekend, so we'll aim for another good day on Saturday."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Apart from a gearbox problem, which delayed Patrick in the second session, both Minardi drivers had a very productive opening day here at Indianapolis. It's interesting to note that, despite the new regulations designed to reduce F1 speeds, both our cars exceeded, on the first day of the race weekend, any time, set in any session, by a Minardi here last year. As usual, both drivers gave their all today, and the team did a fantastic job to change Patrick's gearbox in time for him to get back out before the end of the second session. All in all, a very pleasing effort."
Best lap: 1 min 13.783 secs
Best lap: 1 min 13.963 secs