Friesacher Pleased with First Race Finish

Austrian Patrick Friesacher was happy to complete his maiden Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit on Sunday.

Friesacher Pleased with First Race Finish

Austrian Patrick Friesacher was happy to complete his maiden Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit on Sunday.

"It was a difficult race, but I'm happy to have finished my first Grand Prix, particularly since we never tested the car in this specification before," said Minardi driver Friesacher.

"I found I was getting more confident with the car each lap, though, even though the handling was not quite to my liking."

The rookie wound up in 17th position, over four laps down, after driving a car with an untested 2005 aerodynamic package. Minardi were hoping to run their 2004 cars in the season-opening race but they modified them following the weekend's controversy.

Friesacher's teammate Christijan Albers was the only man who retired from today's race with mechanical problems, the Dutchman succumbing to a gearbox failure on lap 18.

"I lost second gear on the formation lap, and that caused me a bit of a problem at the start, as I had to shift from first to third," explained Albers. "As a result, the race was difficult, since there are several corners here that require second gear. I was losing time in each of these.

"I was happy I could stay with Patrick, though, even with the problem, but then I also lost first gear. I knew when I came in for my pitstop that there was little likelihood I would be leaving again. Anyway, we will just hope for better luck in Malaysia."

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