French GP: Minardi Saturday qualifying notes

Wilux Minardi Cosworth carried on today where it left off after Friday's two initial practice sessions for the French Grand Prix, taking full advantage of the warm dry weather that followed yesterday's heavy showers. The team spent the morning ...

Wilux Minardi Cosworth carried on today where it left off after Friday's two initial practice sessions for the French Grand Prix, taking full advantage of the warm dry weather that followed yesterday's heavy showers. The team spent the morning further developing their chassis set-ups for both the afternoon qualifying sessions and tomorrow's race, making useful progress that was reflected in the lap times of both Zsolt Baumgartner and Gianmaria Bruni.

The latter's car unfortunately suffered a small electrical problem just before the halfway point of the second session, which left him stranded on the track. Despite the setback, however, the signs remained positive and Bruni went on to set a qualifying time just half-a-second off the Faenza squad's nearest rivals, with Baumgartner three-tenths of a second adrift of his team mate.

Gianmaria Bruni:

"To be half-a-second off the time of the Jordan is not too bad, especially since I made a mistake in the first sector on my qualifying run. I was just trying a bit too hard and lost a couple of tenths of a second as a result. Otherwise, I was quite happy with my time. The guys did a good job sorting out a small electrical problem in the second session this morning. As a result of the time lost, though, it meant I didn't get to run with new tyres, so we went into qualifying a little bit blind, but it worked out okay in the end. I hope to have a positive race tomorrow and to take the chequered flag."

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"Generally, I'm quite happy with our performance so far this weekend, and we made some good progress this morning. As far as qualifying was concerned, my run started very similarly to my best this morning, but then I made a mistake in the third sector and lost quite a lot of time. We have a good, consistent car with nice balance, however, and I hope we can carry this progress on with a good performance in tomorrow's race. If it rains, it will not be so bad for us, as the car performed well in the wet here on Friday. In fact, wet conditions might help us to have another race result like the one in Indianapolis, which would be great."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth

"Both drivers put in credible performances today, with Zsolt showing good potential in this morning's second session with a 1 min 16.8 sec lap. Gimmi would undoubtedly have done the same sort of time if not for an electrical problem that cut his running short. With the team's fuel strategy in both qualifying sessions, however, it was never going to be possible to achieve those times in qualifying."

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: 1 min 17.913 secs
Position: 19th

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: 1 min 18.247 secs
Position: 20th

-minardi-

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