Malaysian GP: Minardi race notes

Wilux Minardi Cosworth had the satisfaction of seeing both its drivers finish today's Malaysian Grand Prix, an event that lived up to its reputation as one of the most gruelling on the Formula One calendar, with track temperatures well in excess...

Wilux Minardi Cosworth had the satisfaction of seeing both its drivers finish today's Malaysian Grand Prix, an event that lived up to its reputation as one of the most gruelling on the Formula One calendar, with track temperatures well in excess of 40 deg C, and humidity to match. To the outside observer, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner looked to have relatively uneventful races at the challenging Sepang International Circuit, both men making good starts, having trouble-free pit stops and benefiting when other drivers encountered problems.

What was not so obvious, was that Baumgartner was struggling with a chassis imbalance for much of the race, while a problem with the steering system meant Bruni had to drive the last 30 laps without the benefit of power assistance. Nonetheless, gritty performances from the drivers, commendable engine reliability, and excellent tyre performance ensured that both cars took the chequered flag in Malaysia. Wilux Minardi Cosworth now looks forward to the first-ever Grand Prix of Bahrain, in two weeks' time.

Gianmaria Bruni:

"It was a tough race, particularly as I had to drive the last 30 laps without power steering. Overall, the car was consistent and the balance was good for what we have. This was my first 'full-distance' Grand Prix finish and I particularly want to thank the guys for the fantastic job they did today, and all weekend. We did the best we could today with the package we have and now I hope we can go forward. I am very happy."

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"It was a tough race. I was struggling for much of the time with a chassis imbalance -- the front end was quite good, but the rear was unstable, with too much oversteer. I got in front of Gimmi at the start, but then made a small mistake and he got me back. One of the most difficult things this afternoon was letting people pass while still trying to keep racing. This was definitely one of the toughest events I've ever done, and I'm very pleased to have finished."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:

"Fourteenth and sixteenth positions probably don't do justice to gutsy efforts from both our drivers today. With the reliability enjoyed by most competitors, it was the best we could do, but having said that, it's always good to get both cars home. My thanks go to the whole team, and to our partner, Bridgestone, who provided us with fantastic tyres all weekend. We now look forward to the next Grand Prix, in Bahrain, which should be equally hot."

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Best lap: 1 min 39.911 secs
Position: 14th

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Best lap: 1 min 40.123 secs
Position: 16th

-minardi-

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