Italian GP: Minardi Friday qualifying notes

The opening day of the Italian Grand Prix weekend turned out to be less than satisfactory for European Minardi Cosworth. Difficulties with brakes, a broken floor and a gearbox malfunction were among the culprits that delayed Nicolas Kiesa and ...

The opening day of the Italian Grand Prix weekend turned out to be less than satisfactory for European Minardi Cosworth. Difficulties with brakes, a broken floor and a gearbox malfunction were among the culprits that delayed Nicolas Kiesa and restricted him to just 14 laps of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza prior to Friday afternoon's one-hour qualifying session.

By comparison, team mate, Jos Verstappen, had a more productive morning, only a broken front wing briefly interrupting a full technical programme that included chassis set-up work, assessment of aerodynamic components and tyre comparison runs. Unfortunately, the Dutch driver's luck took a turn for the worse when the engine on his car failed to fire up cleanly prior to his afternoon qualifying run, and he was therefore unable to record a time."

"In fact, the most satisfied driver at European Minardi today was tester, Gimmy Bruni. The young Roman spent a productive two-hour session trying a number of new components on the Minardi PS03, and recorded a creditable lap time of 1 min 24.318 secs in the process.

Nicolas Kiesa:

"Unfortunately, we had so many difficulties this morning, I only managed 11 laps, and virtually every one of those was interrupted by a problem. In the following one-hour session, I only managed two laps before the gearbox developed a fault. I went into qualifying this afternoon with just a very small number of laps under my belt, and none of them at anything like optimum performance. The track conditions and the weather changed this afternoon, with the wind really picking up, so I wasn't sure what to expect on my qualifying lap -- it was like going out for the first lap of the day. Anyway, I hope the team has got rid of all its bad luck today and that things improve significantly tomorrow."

Jos Verstappen:

"The morning test session went well enough, but then we were slower in the official practice session, so we went back on our set-up and it would therefore have been interesting to see how we would have gone in qualifying this afternoon. Unfortunately, when we started the engine on my car for the qualifying run, it simply wouldn't run properly. It is obviously very disappointing."

Gianmaria Bruni:

"It was a good test today, from my point of view. I think I did a good job for the team and set competitive lap times in the process. Specifically, we tested a new design of engine cover and new side pod outlet covers today. We went for a low downforce set-up, and after setting a good time, Jos went 0.3 secs quicker. Still, for only my third time in a Formula One car, I'm happy with the result. I'm now looking forward to Indianapolis and the chance to learn another new circuit."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal - European Minardi Cosworth:

"It has not been one of our better days. To be honest, this morning's test session saw Jos get into the 1 min 23 sec bracket, which I felt was going to set us up for a good weekend. Sadly, it was not to be, with Nicolas losing most of the practice session to a gearbox problem, and Jos failing to leave the garage on his first qualifying run due to what appears to have been an electronic box problem. Tomorrow is another day, however, and we'll aim to get back on track with our preparations for Sunday's race."

NICOLAS KIESA
Position: 18
Time: 1 min 26.299 secs
Chassis: PS03/01

JOS VERSTAPPEN
No Time - N/C
Chassis: PS03/02

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Best lap 1min 24.318 secs (private testing)
Chassis: PS03/03

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Gianmaria Bruni , Nicolas Kiesa , Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi