MUGELLO, ITALY, AUGUST 22, 2001 -- After the non-stop excitement of its Thunder in the Park programme at Britain's Donington circuit yesterday, the European Minardi F1 team today settled down to a rather quieter, but no less important, three-day test at the Mugello track, near Florence.

At the wheel was official test driver, Andrea Piccini, who ran for a total of 47 laps while assisting the team's engineers to evaluate a number of different aerodynamic configurations for the European Minardi PS01B chassis. This is in order to optimise downforce levels for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix. Piccini was also kept busy carrying out brake tests and experimenting with a variety of launch control strategies. His best lap of the day was 1 min 30.056 secs.

The test will continue tomorrow and Friday, with Alex Yoong taking over the driving duties. While assisting the European Minardi technical staff, the young Malaysian will also be accumulating additional track time in his bid to climb the Formula One learning curve as quickly as possible.

ANDREA PICCINI, Official Test Driver, European Minardi F1
"I'm pretty satisfied with the work we have done today. We tried a number of different aerodynamic solutions and tested different brake material. We weren't looking to set lap times, although I feel there is a margin to improve with better use of the tyres, which behave quite differently from the F3000 tyres I am more used to. That will come as I get more experience driving an F1 car."

GIAN CARLO MINARDI, General Director, European Minardi F1
"It has been a satisfactory opening day to this test. Andrea has worked through a detailed programme with the engineers and we have made progress with chassis and aerodynamic set-ups in order to optimise our car for Spa. The team also continued to test the durability of its new gearbox following an excellent race debut in Hungary."