F1

Minardi driver David Saelens test F1 car

FAENZA, ITALY, November 8, 2001 -- European Minardi F3000 driver, David Saelens, had his first experience of Formula One power when he sampled one of the Grand Prix team's PS01B chassis during the recent European Minardi day at the Santa Monica ...

FAENZA, ITALY, November 8, 2001 -- European Minardi F3000 driver, David Saelens, had his first experience of Formula One power when he sampled one of the Grand Prix team's PS01B chassis during the recent European Minardi day at the Santa Monica (Misano) Circuit, near Rimini.

The young Belgian driver, who scored six top-10 finishes for the Ledbury-based team in this season's FIA International F3000 Championship despite missing three races of the 12-round series due to injury, made a confident debut behind the wheel of a Formula One car, delighting the assembled crowd with his high-speed demonstration run around the tight, 4.060-km Italian track.

"Like any racing driver, the ultimate goal for me is Formula One," said Saelens after his run. "I had been told there might be the chance to try the Formula One car this season, and the opportunity arose here at Misano. It turned out to be everything I had imagined. The power, the handling and the braking are just incredible. It was a great experience, and once you have had a taste of it, you cannot help but want more."

European Minardi F1 Team Principal, Paul Stoddart, commented, "David put on a good show for all the European Minardi fans who were present at Misano and turned in a very solid performance. He obviously relished the opportunity of getting behind the wheel of the F1 car and was turning quick, consistent laps almost immediately. As we have already disclosed, European Minardi F1 will be conducting an extensive pre-season test programme, beginning early in January 2002, and using a number of drivers. David has clearly demonstrated that he is capable of assisting us with this very important work."

-European Minardi F1

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Series F1 , F3000

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