Qualifying for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, which took place this afternoon at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in near-perfect racing conditions, yielded 18th and 20th places on the grid for Minardi F1 Team drivers, Robert Doornbos and Christijan...
Qualifying for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, which took place this afternoon at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in near-perfect racing conditions, yielded 18th and 20th places on the grid for Minardi F1 Team drivers, Robert Doornbos and Christijan Albers.
While Doornbos had a smooth, trouble-free qualifying lap, Albers lost out on setting a competitive time when he ran wide into the gravel at the second Lesmo bend while pushing hard. Miraculously, he managed to wrestle his car back onto the circuit, but lost over two seconds in the process.
Earlier, during Saturday morning's two practice sessions, Doornbos and Albers continued to work on fine-tuning the handling of their chassis, and carried out final preparations for their qualifying runs.
"It's been a strong weekend so far for the Minardi team, and also for me. We have been able to find a good set-up for the car, and I have been able to be quick in every practice session."
"I was a little bit apprehensive about qualifying, as we had a technical problem in Turkey and I was a bit too enthusiastic in Hungary, but we had a good, clean lap today. It's nice to see that we can really fight with the Jordans, and I hope it continues this way for me tomorrow."
"It was a shame about qualifying today, but it can happen when you are driving on the limit -- sometimes you go over it. I'm sorry for the boys, as well, since they worked hard on the car. Anyway, tomorrow's a new day, and you score points for the race, not qualifying, so we'll see what we can do."
Paul Stoddart Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Both drivers did very solid jobs today. It was a shame about Christijan's mistake in the second sector of his qualifying lap, because clearly, both Minardis are again on the pace of the team's nearest rivals. As ever, we look forward to an interesting race tomorrow."
Best lap: 1 min 24.904 secs
Best lap: 1 min 26.964 secs