Minardi F1 Team drivers Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers certainly played their part in the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix, taking the chequered flag in today's gruelling race in 12th and 13th places respectively. Equally praiseworthy, however,...
Minardi F1 Team drivers Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers certainly played their part in the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix, taking the chequered flag in today's gruelling race in 12th and 13th places respectively.
Equally praiseworthy, however, was the performance of the Minardi PS04B chassis in what was almost certain to be their last Formula One event, each of the hard-working cars having completed in excess of 20,000 kms of running.
Albers made a spectacular start to today's race, storming past a number of cars in the first few corners of the opening lap, but then lost the advantage gained when a minor collision under braking at turn 10 with David Coulthard's car forced him to dive for the pits at the end of the lap to have a new nose fitted.
Once back in the race, Albers drove strongly, making two further scheduled stops for fuel on his way to the chequered flag. Also on a two-stop strategy, team mate, Friesacher, made a similarly good start, and then enjoyed a less eventful, but nonetheless productive Bahrain Grand Prix, to claim 12th place.
"In the beginning, it was quite good, and I could stay with the Jordans without really pushing, but then in the middle of the race, we began to lose grip at the rear of the car, and the combination of that and traffic meant we began to lose time. Before that, though, the car was really good. I'm quite happy with our effort today, and that we finished what will probably be the very last race for this car. Also, once again, thanks to the guys for a great job today."
"I made a good start, just like Malaysia, but maybe even a little faster, but then, in turn 10, I was behind Barrichello, and made an attempt at getting by him, but then we came up to Coulthard, whom Rubens was passing on the inside. Unfortunately, David and I made contact under braking."
"In my view, it was just a racing incident, but I lost the nose of my car and had to pit at the end of the lap to have it replaced. It was a shame, because we were in front of the Jordans and quite a few other cars, but on the positive side, it's pleasing to know the speed was there.
"Patrick made two stops and I made three, but I managed to reduce the gap between us from 40 seconds after the unplanned pit stop to 17 seconds by the end of the race. It was a shame that Alonso put me an additional lap down at the very last corner of the race, but overall, I think it was a good result today."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"This was a fitting finish to the career of the PS04, with both Minardi entries taking the chequered flag in gruelling conditions. Patrick and Christijan found themselves struggling towards the end of the race, but persevered. We now move on to Imola with the introduction of the new car in sight and, hopefully, the start of improved Minardi performance in 2005."
Best lap: 1 min 36.432 secs
Best lap: 1 min 36.913 secs