The Minardi Formula One team's 2003 challenger, the PS03, ran successfully for the first time today (February 19th) during a private test session at Ferrari's Fiorano facility. The new car, powered by Cosworth Racing's CR-3 V10 engine, is a ...
The Minardi Formula One team's 2003 challenger, the PS03, ran successfully for the first time today (February 19th) during a private test session at Ferrari's Fiorano facility. The new car, powered by Cosworth Racing's CR-3 V10 engine, is a carefully considered technical evolution of last year's already effective chassis, and features an improved aerodynamic package and better weight distribution than its predecessor. The performance potential of the PS03 is also notably enhanced, courtesy of the reduced weight, higher maximum engine speed and increased horsepower of the Cosworth engine compared with last year's power unit. The gearbox is a further development of the innovative, titanium-cased, six-speed transmission that Minardi has used to great effect over the past two years.
Drivers Justin Wilson and Jos Verstappen were both present at Fiorano for the "roll-out" of the PS03, with the experienced Dutch driver the first to sample the performance of the car the team will race at the Australian Grand Prix, in just over two weeks' time. The latest Minardi did not disappoint, and after some software issues were addressed during the morning, Verstappen completed a total of 24 trouble-free laps of the famous Italian test track in sunny, but cool conditions, pronouncing himself well pleased with the feel of the PS03 at the conclusion of the afternoon session. The test will continue tomorrow, with Wilson scheduled to have his first outing in the new car.
"Once we dealt with one or two little software glitches this morning, the car ran reliably and quickly, and felt really good. I was very pleased with the power and response of the Cosworth CR-3 - it's definitely the best F1 engine I've experienced. I was comfortable in the car, and once we made a couple of adjustments to the HANS device, I was fine with that as well. We completed three timed runs this afternoon and recorded a best lap of 1 min 01.20 secs. All told, it has been very positive, and I'm looking forward to testing the car again before we leave for Australia."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"The initial shakedown runs with a new car are always a bit nerve-wracking, but today's first test of the PS03 was very successful and bodes well for the upcoming season. Judging by the comments made by Jos, the 2003 Minardi represents a significant step forward in terms of handling and performance. He was also very positive about the power and driveability of the Cosworth engine. The combination should help the team achieve its goal for this season of becoming established as a regular, mid-grid contender in the Formula One World Championship. I'd particularly like to thank the technical staff from Minardi, from Cosworth Racing, and from Magneti Marelli, all of whom have worked very hard to get the new car ready. We're also grateful to Ferrari, for allowing us to use the superb Fiorano facility for this test. It has been a good day."