MONACO, MONTE CARLO, May 24, 2001 -- European Minardi F1 drivers Tarso Marques and Fernando Alonso both had closer encounters with the unyielding Monaco "street scenery" today than they would have wished. Marques' car spun and hit the barriers...
MONACO, MONTE CARLO, May 24, 2001 -- European Minardi F1 drivers Tarso Marques and Fernando Alonso both had closer encounters with the unyielding Monaco "street scenery" today than they would have wished. Marques' car spun and hit the barriers just over halfway through the opening practice session for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, but an impressive effort by his mechanics saw the car rebuilt for the second one-hour session. A further collective groan emanated from the team's garage as Alonso's car then clipped the barriers on its first run of the afternoon. The damage to the rear of the car was such that it could not be repaired in the time remaining, with the result that the Spanish teenager's first day at Monaco came to premature end.
TARSO MARQUES Position 20th Fastest lap 1 min 25.920 sec
"My car just suffered from too much oversteer during the first practice session, and that's perhaps why I spun off. The mechanics had to repair the car, which meant I started the second session late and lost a lot of valuable time. We've improved the set-up pretty well today, but we're still far from where we should be. Apart from today's outcome, I like driving on this track, which I have not experienced before. I look forward to Saturday's qualifying."
FERNANDO ALONSO Position 21st Fastest lap 1:min 26.393 sec
"This morning, despite the track being dirty, I ran fairly well, and my engineer and I decided not to make too many changes to the car's settings. At the beginning of the second session, though, I made a mistake while entering the last corner. I finished against the barriers and lost the remainder of the session as a result."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal, European Minardi F1
"On a sunny Monaco afternoon, both European Minardi F1 drivers sadly learned that the walls do bite around here. With Tarso missing much of the first session due to a heavy impact with the barriers, his mechanics did well to have his car ready for the second session. Fernando, who drove confidently in session one and steadily reduced his lap times, then fell foul of the Monaco walls in the second session. As ever, Saturday is another day and we look forward to what will almost certainly be an interesting qualifying session."
Chassis allocation PS01/04 -- Tarso Marques (No 20) PS01/03 -- Fernando Alonso (No 21) PS01/01 -- Spare PS01/02 -- Spare