Minardi Confirm Friesacher for 2005

Austrian Patrick Friesacher will race with the Minardi team during the 2005 season, the Formula One squad confirmed today.

Minardi Confirm Friesacher for 2005

Austrian Patrick Friesacher will race with the Minardi team during the 2005 season, the Formula One squad confirmed today.

The 24-year old, who had already tested for Minardi and driven in the team's two-seater programme, will partner Dutchman Christijan Albers.

"For me, it is the realisation of a long-held dream to be in Formula One," said Friesacher. "I am also extremely happy that I will be making my debut in the World Championship with Minardi. I know many of the people in the team, and it really is just like a big family.

"There is a great atmosphere, and when you consider how many top F1 drivers have started their careers at Minardi, I can't think of a better place to start mine. In fact, I feel honoured to be part of the team, and will do my very best for them this season.

"I'm training really hard at the moment to ensure my fitness is good, but I can't wait for the season to get under way in Australia. This is a great opportunity, and I intend to make the most of it."

Friesacher was a regular front-runner in the F3000 championship between 2001 and 2004, scoring wins and a number of top-six finishes in the series.

"We are very pleased to have signed Patrick," said team principal Paul Stoddart. "He impressed team personnel enormously when he tested for us at Misano in November, and he was undoubtedly one of the stars of the show at the memorable South African F1x2 Grand Prix at Kyalami last year.

"He's a quick, and equally importantly, consistent driver, who is also capable of providing good technical feedback to the engineers. I firmly believe the combination of Patrick and teammate, Christijan Albers, will provide Minardi with an extremely strong young driver line-up this season."

Minardi's announcement leaves Red Bull as the only team yet to confirm their line-up for 2005.

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