There were one or two anxious moments for Minardi F1 Team personnel in the opening free practice sessions for this Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, but by the end of the day, they were able to pronounce themselves satisfied with the progress made in ...
There were one or two anxious moments for Minardi F1 Team personnel in the opening free practice sessions for this Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, but by the end of the day, they were able to pronounce themselves satisfied with the progress made in preparing the Minardi Cosworth PS05 for the demands of Formula One's most famous circuit.
They were also able to derive satisfaction from the fact that the team had closed the gap still further to its nearest rivals. During the morning, a software issue caused the car of Patrick Friesacher to stop twice during the first session. Fortunately, however, the car could be returned to the Minardi garage on both occasions, and the team's technicians were able to resolve the problem.
Team mate, Christijan Albers, worked on chassis balance throughout the day, and although, like Friesacher, was able to generate a consistent improvement in his lap times, was not completely satisfied with the handling of his car.
His second session came to a premature end when the Minardi made contact with the barriers at Turn 3. Fortunately, the damage was not heavy, and the team looks forward to another productive day when the Formula One cars take to the streets of Monte Carlo again on Saturday.
"For me, it has been a good day. We had two solid sessions, worked on different set-ups, and improved the car. It is also good that we are ahead of two Jordans, and I want to thank all the guys for their hard work, which has helped us to get to this point. If everything goes well on Saturday, I think we can be even quicker."
"We had a few problems today, and therefore didn't have the best of starts to the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. I just couldn't seem to get the car balanced the way I would like to get the most of the available performance. As a result, I'm not so happy at the moment, but we'll see how it goes on Saturday, when I hope to make a significant improvement."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Today saw Patrick demonstrate the improvement and potential in this year's Minardi Cosworth PS05, finishing ahead of both the Jordan race drivers, and within a few hundredths of a second of the Jordan test driver, who, of course, had two extra sets of tyres available. It is also worth noting that Patrick's fastest lap was less than two seconds off the time set by Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari."
"Christijan, on the other hand, struggled to find a balance in his car today, but I'm sure will produce an improved performance on Saturday. Overall, Minardi has closed the gap to Jordan, its main rival this season, and we look forward to an exciting weekend here in Monaco."
Best lap: 1 min 19.587 secs
Best lap: 1 min 22.162 secs