French GP: Minardi Friday practice notes

After a two-week break, Formula One returns from the New World to begin preparations for the French round of the Formula One World Championship. Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher quickly got up to speed during ...

After a two-week break, Formula One returns from the New World to begin preparations for the French round of the Formula One World Championship.

Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher quickly got up to speed during today's two free practice sessions on the 4.411-km Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. The track is generally tight and twisting, with effective vehicle downforce, plus good handling and traction, essential to competitive lap times.

Today's technical programme focused on finding a suitable set-up for the low- and medium-speed corners that abound at the French circuit, as well as on further improvements to the PS05 aerodynamic package. Technical staff were pleased with the data acquired, and look forward to making further progess tomorrow.

Christijan Albers:

"It's a pity we lost some time during the second session because of a gearbox problem, which required it to be replaced. I have to say, however, that once again, the team has done a really fantastic job, which enabled me to get back on track quickly and register some consistent lap times before the end of the session."

"Unfortunately, I encountered some traffic on my last run, and therefore wasn't able to discover the real limit of the car, but we have had a very productive day, testing a number of new components. Tomorrow is another day, and we will aim to make further progress."

Patrick Friesacher:

"Generally, it has been a positive day. We had a good second session, and I feel we have definitely progressed with the car. I am confident there is still a margin of improvement, however, and we will certainly make the most of tomorrow's two practice sessions to find the best set-up for the afternoon qualifying run."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:

"It's good to be back doing what F1 teams should focus on, which is the racing. Both sessions today went reasonably well for Minardi, other than a gearbox change that had to be carried out on Christijan's car during the second session. Once again, the mechanics did a fantastic job to make the switch in less than 20 minutes."

"It's interesting to note that, despite this year's new regulations designed to slow the cars, the Minardi Cosworth PS05 is a second quicker than its predecessor was here last year. We're very pleased at the huge effort, both here at the track and back at the factory, that has generated this progress."

CHRISTIJAN ALBERS
Position: 20
Time: 1 min 18.508 secs
Chassis: (No 21) PS05/01

PATRICK FRIESACHER
Position: 21
Time: 1 min 18.814 secs
Chassis: (No 20) PS05/02

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Christijan Albers , Paul Stoddart , Patrick Friesacher
Teams Minardi