TAKING IT TO THE STREETS Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos received a rapturous welcome from Dutch Formula One fans who flocked to the centre of Rotterdam in their thousands on Sunday afternoon to spectate at...
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos received a rapturous welcome from Dutch Formula One fans who flocked to the centre of Rotterdam in their thousands on Sunday afternoon to spectate at the Monaco aan de Maas (Maas-side Monaco) event.
A crowd, estimated by event officials at over 200,000, was treated to a series of spectacular demonstration runs by a variety of competition vehicles, including Formula One, Formula 3000, Le Mans, Paris-Dakar and Historic Grand Prix cars, but the decidedly partisan audience reserved its loudest cheers of the afternoon for Minardi's Dutch duo, both of whom received standing ovations at the conclusion of their individual runs around the 3.4-km temporary street circuit.
"Wow, what a great event and what an amazing crowd!" commented Albers after stepping from his Minardi Cosworth and throwing his helmet into the midst of a grandstand full of enthusiastic fans.
"It's terrific to be able to bring Formula One to the centre of a city like Rotterdam, so people can see and hear close up what the sport is all about. It's also an appropriate way to thank all my Dutch sponsors for the support they have provided, because without them, I simply wouldn't be where I am now. It has been a wonderful day."
For team mate, Robert Doornbos, the event was particularly poignant, as he was born in Rotterdam. "I have to say, even since this morning, this had the feeling of a special event, and it was terrific to be able to demonstrate the Minardi Formula One car in front of so many fans," he observed.
"My compliments to them - they were just so enthusiastic, yelling and cheering, just like in a football stadium. I really enjoyed being able to put on a show for them. I'd also like to thank the team for a great job. I see only happy faces today, and that's great."
Minardi F1 Team Principal, Paul Stoddart, was similarly enthusiastic about the day's activities. "It's been an absolutely great programme, and once again, demonstrates the value of events that bring motor racing in general, and Formula One in particular, closer to the fans," he said.
"On a personal note, I would like to extend a special word of thanks to the Minardi and Cosworth personnel, who gave up one of the two weekends of Formula One's August break to be here today and make it possible for Christijan and Robert to carry out their demonstration runs. Their efforts are greatly appreciated by the team, the drivers and, I'm sure, by the many thousands of spectators present in Rotterdam today."