The second day of competitive running for the Minardi F1 Team's new PS05 chassis ultimately turned out to be a positive one, drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher putting in strong performances in the afternoon's first qualifying...
The second day of competitive running for the Minardi F1 Team's new PS05 chassis ultimately turned out to be a positive one, drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher putting in strong performances in the afternoon's first qualifying session for Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix.
The day, however, had not been without its ups and downs for the Faenza squad. It had started well enough, both drivers reporting progress on chassis set-up during the first of the two morning practice sessions.
Unfortunately, the reality of running two brand-new cars came crowding in during the second, Albers' chassis sidelined for the 45-minute session with a gearbox problem, and Friesacher's when a change to suspension settings took significantly longer to complete than anticipated.
The "learning curve" with the PS05 is necessarily steep at this point in its working life, but viewed in a positive light, every problem that is resolved at this stage also increases the team's knowledge and understanding of its new car.
"I'm a little bit annoyed with myself, as I made quite a few mistakes on the qualifying lap this afternoon, but I'm happy that we've been going quicker every time out so far this weekend. There is no doubt we have made progress with the car, which certainly felt better today with the changes we made, and I think we should be able to go quicker again tomorrow."
"I'm looking forward to the race, which hopefully, we'll be able to finish, and to next week's test, when we will aim to find more time in the car. Finally, I just want to thank the guys again. They've been working some really long shifts, and it's impossible to say too much about the huge effort they've been putting in."
"We found a little more grip today, and the car felt good. I think it has a lot of potential even though, so far, we have done such a small amount of running. There is more work to do on the set-up, but we are definitely heading in the right direction."
"As for the qualifying lap this afternoon, everything was going well until I slid slightly wide at the last chicane. If not for that, I think we would have had a reasonable time. Tomorrow is another day, though, and our aim will be to have a good second qualifying session and to finish the race."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Despite finishing today's first qualifying session in P19 and P20, all things considered, the Minardi Team has a lot to be proud of this weekend. The morning sessions were dogged by mechanical gremlins, which are to be expected when one considers this is the first serious running for the new car, but it is clear the Minardi PS05 chassis and Cosworth TJ2005 engine package shows significant potential, as evidenced by Christijan' second-fastest speed through the circuit speed trap this afternoon."
Best lap: 1 min 25.921 secs
Best lap: 1 min 26.484 secs