Stoddart Unhappy with Minardi Showing

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart believes his team failed to make the most of their opportunities in the Italian Grand Prix after Robert Doornbos and Christijan Albers finished 18 th and 19th respectively

Stoddart Unhappy with Minardi Showing

Stoddart felt that the team had the pace to overhaul closest rivals Jordan - but they failed to deliver.
 
Matters were not helped by Albers needing to visit the pits four times - twice for fuel, once to replace his front wing after a first corner collision and then once more after getting a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags.

"It was a somewhat disappointing race from the Minardi standpoint, because although both cars took the chequered flag, our pace suggested we should have finished in better positions than we did," said Stoddart.

"We were ahead of the Jordans on pace and, in fact, our best lap was less than one-and-a-half seconds shy of Michael Schumacher's fastest race lap.

"Unfortunately, Christijan tangled with Narain Karthikeyan on the first corner of the first lap, which necessitated an unscheduled pitstop, and then, later in the race, he was assessed a drive-through penalty for failing to move over quickly enough for Felipe Massa.

"Christijan simply didn't hear the call on the radio to do so, and we subsequently apologised to Sauber for this.  If Christijan had enjoyed a clean race, I believe he would have finished ahead of both Jordans, and his lap times certainly reflect that.  Robert, on the other hand, drove a trouble-free race to finish in P18."

Doornbos said that his race had been pretty unexceptional - apart from being able to overtake a Williams on the first lap.

"I had a good start and was able to maintain position ahead of my team mate and Karthikeyan," said the Dutchman. "I was even able to pass one of the Williams briefly, so the first lap was very exciting, as usual, and I really enjoyed that.

"As the race developed, though, it became clear the pace wasn't quite there, so I just focused on the lap times and talking to my engineer on the radio."

Albers added: "We did a good job between qualifying and the race, and I was happy with the work we did.  I think we had a competitive car and could have finished in front of the Jordans, as we could have done yesterday in qualifying, but sometimes you also need some luck."

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