Mixed Feelings It was a case of mixed fortunes for Wilux Minardi Cosworth and drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner during the second day of preparations for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix. The team made further progress...
It was a case of mixed fortunes for Wilux Minardi Cosworth and drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner during the second day of preparations for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix. The team made further progress during Saturday morning's two 45-minute practice sessions, carrying on with the technical programme commenced yesterday, while also preparing the Minardi PS04B chassis for the afternoon's new-format, back-to-back qualifying sessions. Baumgartner was first out, recording a time of 1 min 32.606 secs, followed by Bruni, who produced a lap of 1 min 30.912 secs. After a break of only two minutes, while the cars were readied for the second session, Baumgartner put in an excellent lap of 1 min 30.681 secs, slicing nearly two seconds off his previous time. Bruni's afternoon unfortunately came to a premature end when a loss of hydraulic pressure meant he was unable to start his final run. Despite the disappointment, the team has been encouraged by the progress made this weekend and looks forward to the first Formula One race of the 2004 season.
Position: 17 No. of laps: 6
Time: 1 min 30.681 secs
"I was struggling a bit during the first run, as I was trying to find the limit of the new tyres and also to feel the grip levels on the track. In the couple of minutes we had between sessions, we made a small adjustment to the car to reduce some oversteer we had in places. In the end, I think the result wasn't bad -- we picked up two seconds from the first run and ended up only half-a-second behind the Jordan, which is good. Overall, I'm happy, and even more importantly, my engineer is happy. I'm sorry for Gimmi that he didn't get a time this afternoon, but I hope we can both have a good race tomorrow, and if we're lucky, score some points."
Position: 18 No. of laps: 3
"It's obviously a bit disappointing for my first F1 qualifying to end this way. The first run was good, and I didn't push that hard, as I wanted to get the feel of the track for the second run. The second run would have been better, for sure, as everybody went faster, but when I tried to select first gear to leave the garage, there was nothing. It's a shame, because we had developed a pretty good chassis balance for the car today. Anyway, that's what happened, and now we'll just have to see what we can do tomorrow."