Hungarian GP: Minardi race notes

After a couple of tricky moments at the beginning of today's Hungarian Grand Prix, the race settled into a consistent rhythm for Minardi Cosworth drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, and the Faenza squad had the satisfaction of seeing...

After a couple of tricky moments at the beginning of today's Hungarian Grand Prix, the race settled into a consistent rhythm for Minardi Cosworth drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, and the Faenza squad had the satisfaction of seeing its cars take the chequered flag in 14th and 15th places respectively.

The engine in Bruni's car stalled on the formation lap, when the young Italian was forced to brake sharply to avoid a car slowing suddenly in front of him. The engine was quickly restarted, however, and Bruni took his appointed grid slot for the race, thereafter driving in determined fashion and setting some nicely consistent lap times on the way to the chequered flag.

An apparent sensor problem on the formation lap saw Baumgartner dive for the pits to have the matter rectified. He therefore started his "home" Grand Prix from the pit lane, but soon caught up with the battling field. Unfortunately, he then lost time on the second of his three scheduled stops, when the engine of his car stalled and had to be restarted in the pit lane.

Despite the disappointment, Baumgartner put in a gritty performance once back on track, and had the satisfaction of taking the chequered flag in front of an enthusiastic Hungarian crowd.

Gianmaria Bruni:

"Generally, it was a good race for me, and I'm pleased to have taken the chequered flag. When we left the grid for the formation lap, Pantano's Jordan suddenly slowed in front of me, and I wasn't quick enough pulling the clutch. As a result, the engine stalled. Once the race got going, though, there were no real problems. I was able to turn some good, consistent lap times and my engineer adjusted the tyre pressures before the pit stops so the car remained well balanced and easy to drive throughout the race."

"In fact, the most difficult moments came when I had to move over to allow faster cars through and got on to the dirty part of the track. As you can see by the lap times, when I was on my own, the performance was good. I want to thank the guys for the excellent pit stops this afternoon -- the first and second ones, in particular, were very quick. I'm happy with today's race.

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"I'm pleased to have finished the race, of course, but from my point of view, I didn't have a particularly successful race today. I was happy yesterday, because I was able to show the Hungarian crowd that we could produce a good qualifying performance. Unfortunately, on the formation lap for today's race, I had a problem with the car and had to come to the pits for the guys to fix it."

"Then, on my second pit stop, the engine stalled and we lost time while it was restarted. This is one of the races where you can lose a lot of time allowing faster cars to overtake, and I didn't manage that as well as I could have. As a result, I really didn't have a chance to show what I could do, and feel disappointed for the Hungarian fans. We'll just have to aim to have a better race next time."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:

"It's good to get two cars home to the finish, and it was particularly pleasing to see Zsolt take the chequered flag in front of the Hungarian fans, with whom he is so popular. Obviously, we struggled a little bit for race pace today, but on the positive side, our reliability is shining through. At the moment, given the current budgetary constraints, that's the best we can expect."

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: 1 min 24.601 secs
Position: 14th

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: 1 min 24.840 secs
Position: 15th

-minardi-

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