Chinese GP: Minardi Saturday qualifying notes

The final day of preparations for Sunday's inaugural Grand Prix of China saw Minardi Cosworth drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner carry on with the team's normal technical programme during the morning's final two practice sessions. The...

The final day of preparations for Sunday's inaugural Grand Prix of China saw Minardi Cosworth drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner carry on with the team's normal technical programme during the morning's final two practice sessions.

The continuing focus was on fine-tuning the balance of the Minardi chassis to cope with the demands of the Shanghai International Circuit, both drivers making progress, as evidenced by the lap times recorded in the practice sessions and during pre-qualifying.

The team elected to make a precautionary engine change on Baumgartner's car prior to qualifying, however, and knowing this would drop the driver 10 spots on the grid, chose a conservative fuel strategy for the young Hungarian in tomorrow's race. This was reflected in his eventual qualifying time.

Bruni attacked his qualifying lap in typically forceful style, but unfortunately, his car spun at turn three and he elected to cut short the run. Despite their grid positions, both drivers remain optimistic about their chances in tomorrow's race.

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"We were struggling with some oversteer this morning, but gradually made progress with the chassis balance on longer runs, which will be relevant for our race performance tomorrow. The guys worked very hard today, as they had to make a lot of changes between the third and fourth practice sessions, as well as carry out an engine change. I'm happy that I made both my qualifying runs without any mistakes."

Gianmaria Bruni:

"I did a good lap in pre-qualifying, and I was pushing very hard on my qualifying run when the car spun. These things can happen -- it happened to Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari today, and it happened to me in a Minardi. That aside, though, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's race."

Paul Stoddart:

""We had expected to do a little bit better today, but sadly, Gimmi spun out of contention on his qualifying run. Prior to that, however, both drivers had good practice and pre-qualifying sessions, and we therefore look forward to tomorrow's inaugural Grand Prix of China with a healthy mixture of optimism tinged with realism."

Zsolt Baumgartner
Chassis: PS04B/04
Position: 18
Time: 1 min 40.240 secs

Gianmaria Bruni
Chassis: PS04B/02
Position: 19
No time

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Gianmaria Bruni , Paul Stoddart , Zsolt Baumgartner
Teams Ferrari , Minardi