The final qualifying session of the 2005 Formula One season saw Minardi F1 Team driver, Christijan Albers, secure 18th position on the grid for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix, and team mate, Robert Doornbos, the 20th spot. Doorbos encountered a transmission problem at the beginning of Saturday’s first morning practice, but some inspired work by the Minardi mechanics saw the gearbox replaced in just over 30 minutes, and Doornbos back on track before the session had ended. Despite the grid positions, however, the Faenza squad has high hopes for tomorrow’s race, particularly as engine partner, Cosworth, has developed a new, more aggressive engine mode specifically for this event.
“It wasn’t a good qualifying session for us, and the track had changed a lot from this morning. We had an understeering car, and I also made several mistakes on the qualifying lap, so I’m not really happy with myself. Anyway, tomorrow is race day, and we’ll work hard between now and then to try and achieve the best possible result.”
“It’s been a busy day in the Minardi garage, as we had a gearbox problem this morning that reduced our available track time. Even with only a few laps running, though, I was able to find a good balance in the car, so we felt we were in good shape for qualifying. The lap started out well, as the initial sector time was good, but then I lost almost a second in the last sector, so we’ll have to find out what caused that. We’ll check the data and aim to make up for today with a good performance in the race tomorrow.”
“Despite a gearbox problem with Robert’s car in the first of today’s two practice sessions, the team completed its technical programme in preparation for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of China. Qualifying did not go quite as we had expected; however, both cars are carrying a heavy fuel load, which will hopefully pay dividends in the race.”
Minardi F1 Team