The 2005 Monaco Grand Prix didn't yield the result that been hoped for, but the Minardi F1 Team will nevertheless leave the Principality substantially encouraged by the events of the weekend. At the top of the list, Christijan Albers' 14th-place...
The 2005 Monaco Grand Prix didn't yield the result that been hoped for, but the Minardi F1 Team will nevertheless leave the Principality substantially encouraged by the events of the weekend.
At the top of the list, Christijan Albers' 14th-place finish in today's event marked the first Formula One race finish for the Minardi Cosworth PS05, introduced at the recent San Marino Grand Prix, and indicates that the hard-working Faenza squad has made substantial progress with vehicle reliability.
In addition, the pace of Albers and team mate, Patrick Friesacher, both in qualifying and in the race, shows the team is beginning to unlock some of the undoubted potential of the new car. Driving in their first-ever Monaco Grand Prix, both Minardi drivers had eventful races today.
Albers spun at the hairpin on lap 23, but eventually took the chequered flag after a gritty drive, while Friesacher, on a two-stop strategy as opposed to his team mate's single stop, put in a series of impressive laps up to his scheduled pit stop on lap 24.
Unfortunately, the handling of his car had deteriorated after the stop, with the result that the young Austrian had an encounter with Monaco's notoriously unyielding barriers that caused his retirement from the race.
"I had a good start and got ahead of Patrick, but I left him some space, as he was running a two-stop strategy and I was on one stop, and it wouldn't have been fair to hold him up. After that, during the first few laps, I experienced a problem with the rear of the car when I was braking out of the tunnel, but we were able to solve that a couple of laps later."
"I was then able to race at a good pace, considering the fuel load, but started losing overall grip, even in the tunnel. The situation was the same after the stop, but then, in the last 11 or 12 laps of the race, the problem disappeared and I was again able to run at a good pace. We now need to look through the data to understand what was happening, and improve the car for Nurburgring."
"Obviously, I had that spin in the hairpin, and I still don't understand what caused it, so we will have to examine that as well. Fortunately, I managed to keep the engine running after the spin, and was able to continue. It was a shame for the other drivers who became involved in the incident, but unfortunately, that is racing, and particularly racing here in Monaco."
"I made a good start to the race, and the car was working really well right up to the time when the Safety Car came out. After it went in, though, the back end of the car felt really strange, almost like there was a puncture. On the lap I spun, I just touched the brakes at the chicane and the rear snapped away."
"It's a real shame, because up to that point our race pace had been good and the car was working well. I also feel badly for the guys, who, once again, have put in a huge amount of work this weekend, but at least Christijan got to the finish, and that, plus our qualifying performances this weekend, are encouraging."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Considering this marks the first Formula One finish for the Minardi Cosworth PS05, and we were ahead of our nearest rivals on race pace, I really feel that serious progress has been made this weekend."
"Despite both cars struggling to maintain grip during certain stages of the race, Christijan soldiered on to achieve a well-deserved finish, while Patrick, having had his best weekend in Formula One thus far, sadly did not get to see the chequered flag. The whole team has put in an outstanding effort this weekend, and it's now onwards and upwards to the next race."
Best lap: 1 min 20.237 secs
Best lap: 1 min 19.037 secs