Canadian GP: Minardi Saturday qualifying notes

After yesterday's torrential rain, which soaked Montréal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and adversely affected the lap times of the Formula One cars being prepared for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, today's weather conditions improved ...

After yesterday's torrential rain, which soaked Montréal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and adversely affected the lap times of the Formula One cars being prepared for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix, today's weather conditions improved dramatically.

Early morning drizzle cleared, with the result that competitors, including European Minardi Cosworth drivers Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson, found themselves dealing with a rapidly drying track surface. After an excellent performance in yesterday's initial qualifying session, which saw the Minardi drivers in 11th and 13th positions respectively, team members were hoping for another good run on Saturday. They were not to be disappointed.

Demonstrating that the current European Minardi Cosworth is well-suited to the specific demands of this "power" circuit, Wilson completed the morning practice session in 14th place and Verstappen, in 17th, before taking to the track for their final, one-shot qualifying runs this afternoon. Both men drove superbly, and at the conclusion of the one-hour session, had given the Faenza squad its best grid positions for a Grand Prix so far this season: Verstappen starts 15th and Wilson, 18th. After the early storm clouds of the weekend, the team is hoping for a strong performance in tomorrow's race.

Jos Verstappen:

"It was a fantastic lap, like the one in Monaco two weeks ago. We had some difficulties with the car in the wet this morning, and I certainly preferred that we had dry conditions for qualifying this afternoon. I'd like to thank the mechanics, as they did a great job with all the changes we made to the car today. The qualifying lap was a good one, with no mistakes, and I'm very pleased with the time."

Justin Wilson:

"It was a pretty clean lap. I had a bit of moment halfway round when the car hit a damp patch, but I was generally happy with my qualifying run this afternoon. The two hours of testing on Friday, which took place in dry conditions, may have helped us today, as I certainly know the circuit better than I otherwise would have. It gives you the confidence to push just that little bit harder."

Paul Stoddart, team principal, European Minardi Cosworth:

"What a fantastic performance from our drivers -- they both drove mega-laps in qualifying this afternoon. It's a shame about Kimi, but these things happen. It's just racing."

JOS VERSTAPPEN
Position: 15 Time: 1 min 18.014 secs
Chassis: PS03/03

JUSTIN WILSON
Position: 18
Time: 1 min 18.560 secs
Chassis: PS03/04

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Justin Wilson , Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi