Doornbos Happy to Finish First Race

Dutchman Robert Doornbos was pleased to complete his first Formula One Grand Prix after a day filled with incidents for the Minardi driver

Doornbos Happy to Finish First Race

Doornbos, replacing Austrian Patrick Friesacher in the second Minardi, had problems right from the start of the German Grand Prix, when he was hit by a problem with his launch control and was forced to make a manual start.

On the third lap, Sauber's Jacques Villeneuve crashed into the Minardi, sending both into a spin. Doornbos was forced to pit and went on to finish in 18th position, four laps down.

"I'm happy to have finished my first Grand Prix, although it was definitely a very eventful race," he said. "On the third lap, as we arrived at the Arena, my car took a big hit from Villeneuve and I spun.

"As a result, I had to make an unscheduled stop to have the car checked, and that was quite a shame because I think we had the pace to stay with the Jordans and to stay close to my teammate.

"If we were going to have a bit of bad luck, though, it's maybe preferable to get it out of the way today, at the first race, and then next week it will all go a lot better.  I'm feeling fit and now looking forward to Hungary."   

Teammate Christijan Albers finished in 13th place despite not being happy with his car's set-up.

"I'm pleased to have finished, although it turned out to be a tough race, as the car set-up was not quite what we had aimed for," said Albers. "Looking at it positively, however, it's something we can improve on for the next race, and hopefully gain some more performance.

"That said, even though the car may not have been perfect today, it was raceable, and as a result, we were able to do a reasonable job.  Certainly, I'm pleased with the outcome of the race, but I think it could have been even a little better."  

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