The first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Bahrain may have fallen on April Fools' Day, but Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher took the start of their preparations for Sunday's race very seriously. Neither had...
The first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Bahrain may have fallen on April Fools' Day, but Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher took the start of their preparations for Sunday's race very seriously.
Neither had driven on the stunning 5.417-km desert circuit previously, and both men used Friday's two one-hour sessions to acclimatise to the layout and its demands and, as normal, work on the chassis set-up of the Minardi Cosworth PS04B.
Albers and Friesacher initially reported a notable lack of grip on the dusty track surface, which accounted for a couple of non-damaging off-course excursions, but picked up the pace in the afternoon as conditions became more favourable. The team also took the opportunity to evaluate a modified front wing configuration in the course of the two sessions.
"We made some worthwhile improvements to the car during the day, and I'm now feeling comfortable with the chassis set-up. I'm sure there is still a margin for improvement, though, and if all were to go well tomorrow, I think it could be possible to get into the 1 minute 34-second bracket."
"I think we have the car working quite well at the moment, although we need to make some small adjustments for Saturday's single, flying-lap runs. We'll do that overnight, and then continue with our programme tomorrow. Overall, it has been a positive first day."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth
"It was an uneventful, but productive day for Minardi. Both drivers completed their full technical programmes in preparation for Sunday's race, which should be the last for the Minardi Cosworth PS04B."
"The team looks forward to continuing its technical programme tomorrow, concentrating particularly on reliability this weekend. Both Christijan and Patrick had their first experience of driving at this magnificent track today, and acquitted themselves well in the warm conditions."
Best lap: 1 min 35.325 secs
Best lap: 1 min 36.094 secs