Minardi Encouraged by Progress

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart was encouraged by his team's performance in today's qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix

Minardi Encouraged by Progress

The struggling team were slowest once again, but Dutchman Christijan Albers finished slightly over half a second behind the Jordan of Tiago Monteiro, an improvement over the San Marino Grand Prix, where Minardi introduced their new PS05 car.

Austrian Patrick Friesacher, meanwhile, was slowest, nearly a second behind his teammate.

"Christijan and Patrick may have qualified P17 and P18 in this afternoon's session, but the team takes encouragement from a number of factors," said Stoddart. "As usual, both drivers have been pushing hard, and Christijan's performance this afternoon saw him just four-tenths of a second off the time set by Monteiro's Jordan.

"We also continue to be highly impressed by the new car's straight-line speed in practice and qualifying, which is thanks to the excellent performance of the Cosworth TJ2005 engine.  In fairness, this also indicates we are in the early stages of the PS05's aero development.

"There is no doubt, however, that the team's engineers and technicians are getting to grips with the new car.  In addition, we have been able to try some new components this weekend, with promising initial results, and that process will continue during upcoming races. 

"All told, we are satisfied with the progress made so far, and will aim to keep the momentum going tomorrow for final qualifying and the race."

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