Monaco GP: Minardi race notes

For the first time this season, Wilux Minardi Cosworth was able to contemplate the prospect of scoring World Championship points in today's action-packed Monaco Grand Prix. Drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner both encountered technical...

For the first time this season, Wilux Minardi Cosworth was able to contemplate the prospect of scoring World Championship points in today's action-packed Monaco Grand Prix. Drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner both encountered technical problems at the start of the race, but then avoided early race incidents and settled down to a solid race pace.

Unfortunately, Bruni was forced to retire his car from the race on lap 17, with a gearbox problem. Baumgartner, however, drove a gritty race, reeling off the laps, avoiding the infamous Monaco barriers and picking up places as other drivers fell by the wayside. He took the chequered flag in ninth place, recording the team's best finish this season and missing out on a World Championship point by just one position. It also marked the young Hungarian driver's best Formula One result to date, his previous being 11th at the 2003 Italian Grand Prix.

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"I made a very good start, but then had a gearbox problem just after I'd gone through the first corner. I reset the system with the steering wheel buttons and was able to get going again, but by then, I'd lost a lot of time. I was able to maintain a good pace, though, and after the first Safety Car incident, I was up with Gimmi. Unfortunately, the car developed a strong oversteer, and I wasn't able to push any harder."

"It was good, though, to be able to keep the car on track, avoid any mistakes and achieve a good result. It was a tough race physically, and I'm pleased to have finished, both for myself and for the team. It makes up a little for the problems we encountered here on Saturday."

Gianmaria Bruni:

"I had a problem leaving the grid on the first formation lap, but did manage to get away at the start. I then just tried to keep up a reasonable pace, which I was able to do initially, but then I lost first gear. It didn't cost me too much time, but then I started having difficulty downshifting into third and second gears, and I had no choice but to stop at the pits. The guys had a look, but unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done. It's bad luck and I'm obviously very disappointed, but that is sometimes how racing is."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:

"Minardi knew today that if its cars finished this race, there was always going to be a chance of scoring points, and in the end, we were so, so near. After the incidents in the opening stages of the race, Zsolt was under instructions to drive a very conservative race and just bring the car home. With 37 laps to go and only 10 healthy cars running, we really felt a points finish was possible. Sadly, it was not to be, but Zsolt and the team did all that was asked of them today. Our sincere congratulations go to Jarno Trulli -- another former Minardi driver -- for his first-ever Formula One victory."

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Best lap: 1 min 21.886 secs
Position: 9th

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Best lap: 1 min 21.592 secs
Position: DNF

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Gianmaria Bruni , Paul Stoddart , Zsolt Baumgartner
Teams Minardi