Kiesa Rues Nightmare F1 Baptism

New Minardi driver rookie Nicolas Kiesa was disappointed after failing to set a time in his first ever Formula One qualifying session.

Kiesa Rues Nightmare F1 Baptism

New Minardi driver rookie Nicolas Kiesa was disappointed after failing to set a time in his first ever Formula One qualifying session.

Danish Kiesa, replacing Justin Wilson at Minardi, endured a nightmare baptism, failing to get out of the pitlane at the end of the session. The Dane, signed up last week and with just 300 km in the car before Friday, said he had not been able to learn the car's anti-stall programme.

"The car suddenly went into an anti-stall programme which I hadn't learned how to get out of and the engine switched off after ten seconds and I didn't manage to get out of the pitlane before the red light came on," said Kiesa.

"I was really looking forward to qualifying this afternoon and trying to get as close to Jos's time as possible. The car ran faultlessly in every test, and then when it counted, we had a problem. Despite this, we did some useful work today, so we'll put this behind us and aim to sort things tomorrow."

Kiesa's Dutch teammate Jos Verstappen finished in 18th position, some six tenths of a second behind the 17th fastest qualifier.

"If you compare us with Ferrari, I think we did a good job, as we were only down two seconds today," said Verstappen. "One could interpret that to mean we have made up ground on them since the start of the season. As far as qualifying was concerned, the chassis was well balanced and I think I drove a clean lap.

"The time was good, considering the team’s circumstances, so I think we are starting the weekend in a positive way. I am also pleased by Justin’s performance this afternoon. It shows how competitive the Minardi drivers are."

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