Friesacher Upbeat after Practice

Minardi rookie Patrick Friesacher is confident that his team can make another step forward to pull well clear of rivals Jordan on Saturday after he suffered mixed fortunes during opening practice

Friesacher Upbeat after Practice

The Austrian lost some track time with a gearbox problem and, after complaining of some set-up issues, he believes that there is plenty of room for improvement from the team's 20th and 21st positions on the time sheets.

"It has not been a bad day, and although we had a problem with the gearbox this afternoon, which lost us some time, generally, we improved the car," said Friesacher.  "We still have some more work to do, particularly on the front end, but I think we can make another step forward tomorrow.

"I would particularly like to compliment the guys and thank them for their efforts, as they performed something close to a miracle this afternoon to change the gearbox so quickly, which allowed me to get out on track again."

Teammate Christijan Albers, who ensured that both Minardi drivers finished ahead of Jordan regulars Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro, said he was equally as upbeat about the progress the team can make on Saturday.

"We had a bit of a slow start this morning, and didn't put in so many laps, as we knew the track would improve a lot during the day," he said. "This afternoon, I think we had a good programme, and I'm feeling confident for tomorrow.  It was a bit of a shame that I had some traffic on my new-tyre run, as it lost us a little time."

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