Albers signs for Minardi

Christijan Albers will race for Minardi in Formula 1 in 2005, the team confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday. The Dutchman, who has raced for Mercedes in the DTM for the past four seasons, brings vital cash to the team from Dutch company Lost Boys

Albers signs for Minardi

Albers made his intentions clear that he wanted to make a move back into single-seaters in 2005, and as well as testing for Minardi, he has also had run-outs with Jordan and Champ Car team Walker Racing since the season ended.

"I'm so happy that I have finally reached my target," Albers said at the announcement in the Bilderberg Garden Hotel in Amsterdam. "I have always wanted to race in Formula 1."

Albers was one of 13 drivers to take part in Minardi's mass-Misano test in November, and is believed to have impressed team the team with his feedback as well as setting the fastest time of the week despite only 20 laps running.

Albers is no stranger to Minardi and was team's test and reserve driver in 2001, having raced for it in F3000 the previous season. The Dutchman is also frequently called up for two-seater duty as well.

"We are very pleased to be able to announce Christijan as one of our two race drivers for 2005," said team boss Paul Stoddart.

"He has always been a naturally quick driver, but it is clear there is now an added maturity and focus with that speed. In short, we believe he is absolutely ready for F1, and we fully expect him to surprise a few people this coming season, particularly since Minardi also has ambitious plans.

"From a personal point of view, it is very gratifying to see a number of Dutch companies getting behind a talented young driver in order to help him take that final, and most difficult, step to the highest level of motor racing. Knowing Christijan as I do, I'm certain he will reward the faith placed in him."

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Minardi Confirm Albers for 2005
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