The Minardi F1 Team today produced its best qualifying performance in two seasons, drivers Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers finishing the first qualifying session for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix in 14th and 15th positions respectively. In...
The Minardi F1 Team today produced its best qualifying performance in two seasons, drivers Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers finishing the first qualifying session for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix in 14th and 15th positions respectively. In achieving this result, Friesacher and Albers recorded faster times than either of the Jordan entries, with Friesacher's time only two-and-a-half seconds off the pace of the Ferraris.
Earlier in the day, the final two practice sessions of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend provided further evidence that the team has made progress with the PS05. Friesacher's fastest laps saw the young Austrian in P14 in the first session, P15 in the second, and solidly ahead of both Jordan entries in each of the sessions.
Albers couldn't quite match his team mate's pace, although he, too, notched up lap times close to those of Minardi's nearest rivals. He also lost his final scheduled run of the second session when a gearbox problem developed.
Aside from the performances of both drivers, team personnel were pleased to note that the Minardi Cosworth PS05 chassis appears to be handling well on the Monaco circuit, where high levels of downforce and mechanical grip pay dividends, while also being among the fastest through the speed trap.
"I think it was not a bad lap. I made a couple of small mistakes, but generally, it was pretty good. We've been able to get in front of the Jordans today, and I hope we are now able to stay in front of them for the rest of the weekend. The guys have again done a really good job, so thanks to them for all their efforts."
"I'm not as happy as I could be, since I lost time against Patrick on the qualifying run, but I think it's due, at least in part, to not having as much time on the track. I lost time in the practice sessions on Thursday and this morning with technical problems, so all things considered, there's not really that much between us."
"I'm also happy that we were able to improve the set-up of the car steadily, and as a result, I was able to improve my lap times with each run. We'll hope to carry on with the improvement tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"It is really pleasing to see the potential of the new car is beginning to show. To be consistently ahead of our nearest rival so far this weekend means we are well on the way to achieving our goals. Both drivers have given 100 per cent around this very demanding circuit, and my thanks go to the whole team, which has worked relentlessly day and night."
"The continuing progress is down to the efforts of all concerned. Let's now hope for an equally productive second qualifying session, and an interesting race tomorrow."
Best lap: 1 min 18.574 secs
Best lap: 1 min 19.229 secs