Albers quick at Misano

Christijan Albers and Pastor Maldonado both made good use of their brief time in the Minardi PS04B at Misano Adriatico yesterday and Dutchman Albers posted the best lap yet in the multi-driver test

Albers quick at Misano

Venezuelan teenager Maldonado was also impressive as he made the big jump from Formula Renault - in which he was Italian champion this year.

Former Minardi owner Gian Carlo Minardi was on hand to supervise the test and commented: "It has been a very productive day. We have seen a young Venezuelan driver, in Pastor Maldonado, who put in a very good performance, especially considering he has made the considerable jump from Formula Renault to F1. Albers also put in a very good performance today. Considering how different from one another the drivers are we have had here at Misano, I think it has been a really interesting week.

"We are also satisfied that all of the drivers who have driven a Minardi here have produced extremely good laps times at a very high level. This means the car is relatively easy to learn and drive. Now we will work with these drivers, and hopefully, one of them will have a future in F1."

Albers completed just 20 laps, the best a 1m10.800s as he acclimatised to F1 again. "I have become accustomed to Touring Cars in the DTM," he said, "and it's good to be back in a F1 car, although they remain physically demanding to drive - I can feel it in my neck even now!

"The team worked really well, but as only eight out of the 20 laps I did were flying laps, there was not a lot of set-up time. My main aim this morning was to show the speed I am capable of and what I can do in the car. I know I could have gone quicker, but considering the number of laps, I think the time wasn't too bad."

Maldonado ran 22 laps and got down to a creditable 1m11.330s. "I'm really impressed," he said. "This is my first time in a F1 car, and I just didn't expect such power. I have tested an F3000 car, but the F1 car is something completely different. It's amazing. Personally, I'm very happy to be here today, because F1 has always been my objective, as it is the dream of all racing drivers. I think I did a good job this morning, and I feel satisfied with my work."

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