With two quick laps in both Free Practises ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix this Sunday, Robert Doornbos left his teammates Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan far behind today. At the Monte Carlo streetcourse, Jordan Grand Prix' test and reserve...
With two quick laps in both Free Practises ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix this Sunday, Robert Doornbos left his teammates Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan far behind today. At the Monte Carlo streetcourse, Jordan Grand Prix' test and reserve driver clocked a fastest time of 1:19.526 under sunny circumstances, which handed him P18 at the end of the day.
As talent is decisive at this winding circuit at the Cote d'Azur, Doornbos' impressive performance tastes extra sweet for the 23-year old driver.
Just like most other drivers, Doornbos mainly concentrates on getting familiar with the famous streetcircuit in the first Free Practise session between 11:00 and 12:00 hours. By lapping the 3,340 kilometer long track 28 times, the 23-year old Dutchman drives the most laps of all F1 drivers.
As the Monaco streetcourse is only used once a year, and therefore offers a low griplevel in the opening fase of the GP weekend, all drivers improve their times lap-by-lap. At the end of the one hour lasting session, Doornbos sets a fastest laptime of 1:21.511 (P18), which is more than 1.7 seconds faster than his teammates and racedrivers Tiago Monteiro (1:23.271) and Narain Karthikeyan (1:23.521)!
With a busy schedule ahead of him, Doornbos immediately leaves his pitbox at 14:00h to start the second session with two runs of eight laps each in order to supply Bridgestone with relevant information about the behaviour of the two compound of tyres.
As the 2004 FIA International F3000 'Rookie of the Year' halfway through the session wants to start his third run on new tyres, software problems somewhat delay his programme as he premature has to abort two runs.
Luckily Doornbos can continue his job in the end of the session as he rejoins the action with 10 minutes to go. By setting a fastest time of 1:19.526 in the closing stages, Doornbos again stays well ahead of both Tiago Monteiro (1:20.284) and Narain Karthikeyan (1:21.879).
"Though this is already my ninth weekend in F1, I still felt some tension as I drove out of the pitlane this morning. Monaco is a really special circuit with it's own unique atmosphere. Therefore it is extra nice to see that so many Dutch people came here to watch the action from the grandstands and supported me throughout the day."
"The driving itself was also absolutely amazing! This morning the circuit was pretty 'green', but the griplevel improved with almost 20% every 15 minutes! Therefore we only started our programme this afternoon. After a couple of runs to evaluate the two compounds of tyres Bridgestone brought with them this weekend, I concentrated on the electronics later on in the session."
"The Bridgestone tyres felt really good here today, and I am happy that I was able to set both fast and consistent laptimes in both sessions on used tyres. Hopefully the team can perform extra well here this weekend!"