NEVERS-MAGNY COURS, FRANCE, July 1, 2001 - In hot, dry conditions that could easily have led to a high level of mechanical attrition, European Minardi F1 was particularly pleased that both its drivers were classified finishers at the conclusion of...
NEVERS-MAGNY COURS, FRANCE, July 1, 2001 - In hot, dry conditions that could easily have led to a high level of mechanical attrition, European Minardi F1 was particularly pleased that both its drivers were classified finishers at the conclusion of today's French Grand Prix. Tarso Marques employed a two-stop strategy for fuel and tyres to take the chequered flag in 15th place, while team mate, Fernando Alonso, was called to the pits for a precautionary stop with only five laps of the race remaining after a potential engine problem was spotted on the team's telemetry equipment. As a result, the Spanish - he turns 20 later this month - was classified in 17th position. Uniquely, he was the only one of the competitors in today's race to opt for a single stop for fuel and tyres.
TARSO MARQUES Position: 15th
"It was good to finish the race cause this is very important for us. We knew it would be a hard race because the track here in Magny Cours is very changeable. In addition, I did not have a good warm-up this morning due to a gearbox failure on the first run, which forced me to switch to the spare car. As for the race, it all went fine, except in the closing stages, when I started to have some gear-selection problems that caused me to lose time. I feel happy, however, to have seen the chequered flag today."
FERNANDO ALONSO Position: 17th
"It is frustrating to retire with only five laps to the end of the race; however, the positive aspect of the day is that I was able to accumulate further miles and experience. The handling of my car was fine, confirming its good reliability. In Germany, we drove a trouble-free race. Today, both cars could have reached the finishing line if we had been just a bit luckier. It is a clear sign that the team is doing a really good job."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal, European Minardi F1
"On a warm Magny Cours afternoon, European Minardi F1 was pleased with the performance of both its cars and drivers in today's French Grand Prix. Fernando, who was the only driver on a one-stop strategy, drove an excellent race, although we did have to bring him into the pits five laps from the end for a precautionary stop. Tarso, who was on a more conventional two-stop strategy, drove faultlessly in the hot conditions and fully warranted his 15th-place finish. European Minardi now looks forward to participating in one of its two 'home' Grands Prix, at Silverstone, in two weeks' time."