Difficult weather and track conditions at the Autodromo Santamonica forced Minardi F1 Team personnel to reduce this week's planned two-day test at the Adriatic circuit to just a single day. Ice and snow in the run-off areas had largely dispersed by this morning, allowing the team to run a shortened, but still productive, technical programme with a pair of Minardi Cosworth PS04B chassis for drivers Christijan Albers, Chanoch Nissany and Nicolas Kiesa.
The three men were on differing programmes, Kiesa's task being to carry out set-up work on Chassis 03 and assess revised control software, while Nissany, having his first session with the team since being announced as official Minardi test driver for 2005, was scheduled to continue his Formula One acclimatisation programme.
By comparison, Albers spent much of the day carrying out extended runs in Chassis 04, focusing on set-up and carrying out race simulation work. The team hopes to conduct at least one further test before leaving for Australia and the first Formula One race of 2005.
"Clearly, the conditions were not good today, with water running across the track surface in places. Even so, I'm satisfied with the work we've done and feel as though, in combination with the engineers, we've made some real progress developing a chassis set-up that is effective and with which I feel comfortable."
"It has not been an easy test, by any means, but we have taken some useful steps towards our goal of being prepared for the first Grand Prix of the season, in Australia, in just over four weeks' time."
"It has not been a normal testing day, as the track surface was very slippery and the conditions were pretty difficult. Even so, you can learn from such challenging circumstances, and I know I have discovered some things today that will be useful in the future."
"I was first out on track this morning, the plan being to carry out two timed runs in order to clock up a bit of additional mileage and to check some revised chassis software. The track conditions were very poor initially, with a lot of dust and dirt on the surface, but even so, we came up with a configuration for the brakes and the differential that inspired confidence."
"As a result, I feel I was able to deliver some useful feedback to the engineers, and I'm pleased with that. I hope to be able to test again for the team and to continue the useful work that we've been doing."
Massimo Rivola, Sporting Director and Team Manager:
"It's difficult to be particularly happy with this test, as we lost the whole of yesterday because of the weather, and although the situation improved and we were able to run today, the conditions were still very tricky."
"Nicolas was first out, just for a short run, and although he had to contend with a very slippery track, he did his usual mature job. Chanoch didn't have a particularly good day, experiencing a couple of non-damaging spins and generally struggling with the conditions, but it all adds to his growing bank of F1 experience."
"Christijan again did a very good job, carrying out some longer runs. His lap times were consistent during the stints, indicating his physical condition is good. He is definitely fully immersed in the job of being an F1 driver, and the team is happy with both his approach and his attitude to the job."
Best lap: 1 min 14.270 secs
Total laps: 57, 231.4 km
Best lap: 1 min 20.400 secs
Total laps: 10, 40.6 km
Best lap: 1 min 25.380 secs
Total laps: 6, 24.4 km