Australian GP: Minardi Saturday qualifying notes

Following a day when the primary concern of the Minardi F1 Team was with off-track, legal issues, the focus for the second day of the 2005 Foster's Australian Grand Prix switched to the challenging Albert Park circuit where drivers, Christijan ...

Following a day when the primary concern of the Minardi F1 Team was with off-track, legal issues, the focus for the second day of the 2005 Foster's Australian Grand Prix switched to the challenging Albert Park circuit where drivers, Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher, had their first experience of the Melbourne track.

After lengthy discussions Friday evening, Minardi Team Principal, Paul Stoddart, instructed team personnel to proceed with making the necessary modifications to enable the Minardi Cosworth PS04B chassis to comply with the current Formula One Technical Regulations.

The work was carried out overnight by the team's hardworking mechanics, and both Albers and Friesacher were on track from the start of the morning's opening practice session. The wet conditions did not make the job any easier for the drivers, neither of whom had previous experience of the circuit or of the Minardi chassis in this specification.

Christijan Albers:

"I made a couple of small mistakes on my run this afternoon, but I think it was not too bad for my first F1 qualifying session, particularly as the track was so wet. Despite the fact we have no experience with the full 2005 aero package, I felt it was okay in the running we did today. We can certainly work with it."

Patrick Friesacher:

"This is my first time at a Formula One race, and I have never done anything like it before. It was quite difficult, and I know I have a lot to learn. It is the first time we have run the car in full 2005 specification, added to which, it was raining and this is a new track to me."

"I particularly want to thank the guys -- they did an awesome job to modify the car to 2005 specification in the time available. As far as my performance today is concerned, it is always possible to do better, but generally speaking, I am satisfied with what has been accomplished so far."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth

"After a traumatic week spent dealing with matters that could, and should, have been sorted out well before the Melbourne race, it was a great relief for Minardi to open its 2005 campaign and be able to focus on the racing."

"After a mammoth overnight effort, the team's mechanics were able to modify two PS04B chassis to 2005-compliant specification. It really does show the grit, determination and professionalism of the team. Both Christijan and Patrick are fulfilling their dreams of becoming Formula One drivers, and acquitted themselves brilliantly under the circumstances."

"This is particularly relevant when one considers that neither of them had driven the car in this specification before today, let alone in the wet. I cannot praise them highly enough for their support and courage over the last few days. Both cars ran faultlessly, and all things considered, I am truly proud of the drivers, and of the whole team, for what has been nothing less than a sterling effort."

CHRISTIJAN ALBERS
Chassis: PS04B/04
Best lap: 1 min 49.230 secs
Position: 15th

PATRICK FRIESACHER
Chassis: PS04B/02
Best lap: 1 min 50.864 secs
Position: 16th

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Christijan Albers , Paul Stoddart , Patrick Friesacher
Teams Minardi