The Minardi F1 Team arrived in Sao Paulo optimistic of a strong performance in this Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. Apart from the Faenza squad having performed well at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in previous years, the Minardi Cosworth PS05 ...
The Minardi F1 Team arrived in Sao Paulo optimistic of a strong performance in this Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. Apart from the Faenza squad having performed well at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in previous years, the Minardi Cosworth PS05 chassis being used by drivers Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos this weekend are fitted with a number of significantly revised aerodynamic components, including the front wing, floor and diffuser, which should assist performance levels.
At the start of Friday's two free practice sessions, Albers and Doornbos reported the track to be dusty and lacking in grip. As is the norm, however, grip levels improved as air and track temperatures rose and rubber was deposited on the surface. Both drivers concentrated on fine-tuning the handling of their chassis, and Doornbos, who turns 24 today, gave himself a memorable birthday present, recording the 14th fastest time of the afternoon.
Albers, who found himself caught in traffic on his new-tyre run, completed the day in 19th place, but still ahead of five other drivers. The team's official Friday tester, Enrico Toccacelo, is not present in Brazil, as he is competing for Team Italia in the inaugural round of the A1 GP Series at Brands Hatch this weekend.
"It's great to be able to celebrate my birthday with the Minardi team today. Everybody said 'happy birthday' this morning, which was fun, and to conclude the day like this was terrific. I was quick and able to get a good lap. I like this circuit a lot, and it was a great team effort as well."
"I have a new No 1 Mechanic on my car for this race, Ignazio Sanzone, and he was understandably a little bit nervous at the start of the day, but did a terrific job, along with all of the guys. I think we're going to have a good birthday party tonight."
"I think it was quite a hard day today because this is my first time in Brazil and I didn't do so much running this morning -- only three flying laps. Then we started to go well at the beginning of the second session and were able to do a considerable amount of work."
"The car balance was good and we could turn consistent laps. When we did our new-tyre run, though, there was just too much traffic, so it wasn't possible to set a really good time. We'll just press on with our work tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"To be ahead of three Red Bulls, both BARs, a Toyota and three Jordans can't be a bad birthday present for any racing driver! Both Minardi drivers did a solid job today on a track where, given our modest expectations, we've always performed well. We look forward to continuing this progress through the weekend."
Best lap: 1 min 13.922 secs
Best lap: 1 min 14.563 secs