Drafted in for the final five races of the season Dane Nicolas Kiesa finished in every race he drove, not bad for a rookie in the underfunded Minardi squad.

Suzuka is a challenging circuit but Kiesa was up o the challenge. "It has been great to finish all five F1 races in which I've competed, and I'd like to thank everyone at Minardi who has made this possible," said the Dane after the race.

"It is incredible, with the very limited resources available to this team, how it is able to keep the cars running so reliably. It would just be nice to find a bit more pace over the winter, as the motivation and commitment of everyone here is amazing, and the guys really deserve some decent results for the tremendous effort they put in. I really admire them.

"As for today's race, it was hard physically, but I think I also encountered an aerodynamic problem after about 10 laps that made the situation a bit more difficult," he continued. " It didn't get any worse as the race wore on, but basically, the car lost grip in the high-speed corners. Changing from fifth to sixth gear at Spoon, the back end was stepping out at 280 km/h! I had no choice, though, but to live with the problem through to the end of the race. Otherwise, I didn't have any difficulties this afternoon.

"I would like to say thank you to everyone on the team, and especially to Paul Stoddart, for giving me the chance to be in Formula One. It has been the most amazing experience of my life, and I really hope to be back here again next year."

 

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