European Minardi Cosworth had two very good reasons to feel pleased with the outcome of today's Hungarian Grand Prix. Firstly, drivers Jos Verstappen and Nicolas Kiesa took the chequered flag at the end of the hard-fought race in 13th and 13th ...
European Minardi Cosworth had two very good reasons to feel pleased with the outcome of today's Hungarian Grand Prix. Firstly, drivers Jos Verstappen and Nicolas Kiesa took the chequered flag at the end of the hard-fought race in 13th and 13th places respectively. Secondly, the team's former driver, Fernando Alonso, scored his first-ever Grand Prix victory.
On a day when a number of teams suffered mechanical problems, both European Minardis ran flawlessly throughout the 70-lap race. Both drivers opted for a three-stop race strategy for fuel and tyres and used the harder compound Bridgestones on offer this weekend. There was a slightly worrying moment when the oil temperature on Kiesa's car rose sharply over the last two laps, but the young Dane reduced his pace and completed his second Formula one race without any further problems.
"I had a good start and made up some places and once the race settled down, I was able to lap consistently. I think this has been one of the better races of the season for us although it is clear that we are still not able to run at the speed of the other cars yet. From a personal point of view, I thought this race might also be a tough one physically, but I was pleased to find that I felt good when I climbed out of the car at the end. All told, it has been a positive weekend for us."
"I made a mistake at the start, when I engaged first gear but forgot to activate the launch control. That delayed me when the race got under way, but it was okay once I got going. The chassis set-up we chose meant we had to sacrifice our qualifying performance yesterday, but it definitely helped us in the race. I had a better car for the race this afternoon than I had in Hockenheim and I managed to let the faster cars through without reducing my own performance as much. I was able to put the knowledge from Germany to good use and am pleased to have taken the chequered flag for the second Grand Prix in a row. It's a good way to start my Formula One career."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, European Minardi Cosworth:
"First of all, our congratulations go to Fernando and the Renault team for what can only be described as a fantastic weekend -- pole position, followed by a faultless race performance. Throughout his time at Minardi, not one person in the team ever doubted that today would happen. What is equally certain is that there will be many more days like this. For our own race, it's always pleasing to get a two-car finish, particularly in a Grand Prix where reliability was such an issue. Both Jos and Nicolas drove faultlessly and the team was solid in all six pit stops this afternoon. We simply lacked pace today."
Best lap 1 min 26.559 secs
Best lap 1 min 27.641 secs