Minardi announced on February 15th that Patrick Friesacher has signed for the team as race driver for 2005. Austrian Friesacher, who will be teammate to Christijan Albers, has previously tested for Minardi and driven in the team's two-seater ...
Minardi announced on February 15th that Patrick Friesacher has signed for the team as race driver for 2005. Austrian Friesacher, who will be teammate to Christijan Albers, has previously tested for Minardi and driven in the team's two-seater events.
"For me, it is the realisation of a long-held dream to be in Formula One," said Friesacher. "I am also extremely happy that I will be making my debut in the World Championship with Minardi. I know many of the people in the team, and it really is just like a big family. There is a great atmosphere, and when you consider how many top F1 drivers have started their careers at Minardi, I can't think of a better place to start mine."
"In fact, I feel honoured to be part of the team, and will do my very best for them this season. I'm training really hard at the moment to ensure my fitness is good, but I can't wait for the season to get under way in Australia. This is a great opportunity, and I intend to make the most of it."
The 24 year-old competed in French and German F3 until 2001, then he moved International F3000. He raced for the Red Bull Junior Team, as well as Coloni and Super Nova and his best result was fifth overall in the championship. He took two victories during his time in the series, both in Hungary, in 2003 and 2004.
"We are very pleased to have signed Patrick," said Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart. "He impressed team personnel enormously when he tested for us at Misano in November, and he was undoubtedly one of the stars of the show at the memorable South African F1x2 Grand Prix at Kyalami last year."
"He's a quick, and equally importantly, consistent driver, who is also capable of providing good technical feedback to the engineers. I firmly believe the combination of Patrick and team mate, Christijan Albers, will provide Minardi with an extremely strong young driver line-up this season."
Friesacher's singing means that the last vacancy on the F1 grid for 2005 is now gone. The only undecided race seat is at Red Bull, where the already-signed Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi are waiting to discover who will partner David Coulthard.