Minardi Encouraged by Friesacher Pace

Minardi team chief Paul Stoddart was delighted after Austrian driver Patrick Friesacher enjoyed a promising first day at the Monaco Grand Prix

Minardi Encouraged by Friesacher Pace

"Today saw Patrick demonstrate the improvement and potential in this year's Minardi Cosworth PS05, finishing ahead of both the Jordan race drivers, and within a few hundredths of a second of the Jordan test driver, who, of course, had two extra sets of tyres available," said Stoddart.

Rookie Friesacher was 19th quickest, less than four seconds off the pace as he managed to outpace both Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan in the Jordans.

"For me, it has been a good day," said Friesacher. "We had two solid sessions, worked on different set-ups, and improved the car.  It is also good that we are ahead of two Jordans, and I want to thank all the guys for their hard work, which has helped us to get to this point. 

"If everything goes well on Saturday, I think we can be even quicker."

Teammate Christian Albers didn't have such a positive day and, after struggling with the balance of his car, he crashed during the afternoon session and had to cut his running short.

"We had a few problems today, and therefore didn't have the best of starts to the Monaco Grand Prix weekend," he said. "I just couldn't seem to get the car balanced the way I would like to get the most of the available performance.

"As a result, I'm not so happy at the moment, but we'll see how it goes on Saturday, when I hope to make a significant improvement."

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