Minardi F1 Team preparations for Sunday's Grand Prix of Bahrain remained on course today, Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher working through the remainder of their technical programme during this morning's free practice sessions before...
Minardi F1 Team preparations for Sunday's Grand Prix of Bahrain remained on course today, Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher working through the remainder of their technical programme during this morning's free practice sessions before turning their attention to the opening qualifying runs.
With track temperatures soaring to 54 deg C by early afternoon, it was clear from the opening runs that circuit grip levels had diminished compared with the morning, but nonetheless, Albers and Friesacher both produced strong performances, losing less time against their morning runs than many of their rivals.
The team was also pleased with the performance of both Minardi Cosworth PS04B chassis, which ran with absolute reliability in the desert heat.
"During the last race, in Malaysia, we had a good car in terms of race set-up, but we were just missing the one flying lap in qualifying -- we simply couldn't get it together in terms of grip level. This weekend, we have been focusing a little bit on the single flying lap, and it has yielded results today."
"I'm pleased, and I think it was quite a good lap. The track was also slower this afternoon than it was in this morning's practice sessions, but comparatively speaking, we didn't lose as much time in the qualifying run as some of the others."
"It wasn't a bad qualifying run -- I just had a bit of understeer and made a few little mistakes during the lap. I think we can improve on the time tomorrow, so we are not looking bad for the race. The guys did a really good job because they had quite a bit of work to do between free practice and qualifying, so I would like to say thanks to them."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"All things considered, to be less than a second from our nearest rival with the old car is pleasing indeed. It inspires hope and a renewed sense of confidence in the team when we know how much quicker the new car should be in the coming races."
"We believe Minardi's goal for this year, of finishing ninth place in the World Constructors' Championship, remains realistic. As usual, both drivers, and the entire team, put in a sterling effort today."
Best lap: 1 min 34.005 secs
Best lap: 1 min 34.848 secs