European GP: Minardi race notes

The European Minardi Cosworth team was satisfied that its cars finished today's Grand Prix of Europe at the Nurburgring, but disappointed that both machines struggled for grip throughout the race, thus preventing drivers Justin Wilson and Jos ...

The European Minardi Cosworth team was satisfied that its cars finished today's Grand Prix of Europe at the Nurburgring, but disappointed that both machines struggled for grip throughout the race, thus preventing drivers Justin Wilson and Jos Verstappen from displaying their true potential. Both men adopted two-stop strategies for fuel and tyres, the four pit stops all being executed with slick precision.

Wilson's car suffered a broken exhaust before the halfway point of the race, but the British driver continued to press on, while Verstappen found himself having to cope with a severe handling imbalance, which ultimately forced him to focus solely on getting his car to the chequered flag. The team will now be hoping for a better performance at next weekend's French Grand Prix.

Justin Wilson:

"It was quite an interesting first stint from my standpoint, as I had a good battle with Jos and Jacques Villeneuve. Jos was able to drive down the inside of him at Turn 1, but I couldn't quite make it and had to tuck back in before the next corner. I then went a bit wide at the corner and couldn't shut the door, which allowed Heidfeld to get through. I was able to close on Jos, though, who was clearly struggling with his car, before Jacques had a big spin, which allowed both of us to get by him again."

"I eventually caught Jos, passed him and was able to get away. During the first stint, the car was sliding really badly, but after the first pit stop, the tyres seemed a little better in terms of grip. I just concentrated on driving smoothly and keeping the car on the track. The pit stops today were spot on -- the guys did a good job this afternoon, and I'd like to thank them for that. In the end, it was nice to get the car home again."

Jos Verstappen:

"That was probably one of the worst races I've ever had -- the car had so much oversteer and so little grip, it was like driving on ice. I just couldn't do anything. I pushed as hard as I could for the first half of the race, but then just decided the best strategy was going to be to try to bring the car home in one piece. I feel particularly sorry for all the mechanics in the team, as they worked hard all weekend, but that was the best we could do today."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal - European Minardi Cosworth:

"It was a tough race, but both drivers did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances. This was a weekend when we simply had no grip in the dry. It's always good to get two cars home, so we leave the Nurburgring proud of the job done by the team and drivers, especially in the pit stops, and hopeful that there will be more grip available for us in France."

JUSTIN WILSON
Best lap: 1min 36.709 secs
Position: 13
No. of laps: 58
Chassis: PS03/04

JOS VERSTAPPEN
Best lap: 1min 37.365 secs
Position: 14
No. of laps: 57
Chassis: PS03/03

-minardi-

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