Albers Surprised by Own Speed

Christijan Albers said he surprised himself with his speed in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix

Albers Surprised by Own Speed

The Minardi man had never driven at the Suzuka circuit before and set the 21st quickest time in the opening practice session this morning.

In the afternoon, however, he completed just seven laps and finished 23rd.

However, Albers was delighted with his day's work.

"I'm really happy today," said Albers. "The first practice was good because I've never driven on this track before, and yet I surprised myself with my laptimes and was pleased to get up to speed quickly.

"The second practice also went well, with the same sort of times, but then when we went out for a new tyre run, the rain started to fall.

"It was a bit of a shame because we could have learned a little more about the tyre compounds in order to decide which one we should use for qualifying and the race.  Now it's a little more difficult, but I think we still had a reasonable day."   

Teammate and compatriot Robert Doornbos was also happy with his day despite a difficult start in first practice. Things got better in the afternoon, however, and Doornbos finished as 20th quickest.

"We didn't start the morning session as well as we might have, because the car was not quite how I wanted it - I had a clear idea in my mind of how I wanted it to be - but we did some homework over lunch," said Doornbos.

"As a result, we started the second session on used tyres and the car felt good.  We decided to fit new tyres to get a feel for how it would be tomorrow, and then I had a lot of fun driving a Formula One car with an effective set-up.  There's still room for improvement, but we're definitely heading in the right direction." 

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