The impression Tiago Monteiro caused today at the F1 Minardi test at Vallelunga could not have been a better one. The Portuguese driver lapped the reserve car and the test engine 47 times around the Italian track, completing the whole test program scheduled out by the team.
During Monteiro's test, which consisted of trying out a variety of set-ups during track outings every 6 laps, Gian Carlo Minardi observed attentively the drivers performance. Tiago's best lap was 1.03.810, standing just 0.270 from the fastest lap run by Gian Maria Bruni done after two intense days of practice. This shows the level of Monteiro's performance and quick adaptation at the wheel of a Formula One car.
Tiago Monteiro obviously satisfied with the test and said: "I feel I've done a good job. I concluded the program that was planned for me faster than expected, got used to the car pretty quickly and without mistakes." remarked the driver, who managed to improve his marks every outing on the track.
"At the beginning it took some time to adjust to the speed and the vision, but then, everything just fell into place. I ran sequences of six laps, trying out new solutions that Minardi wanted to test. Every time I went on track I improved my lap time and my fastest lap was very near the fastest lap set by Minardi with Bruni. All this leaves me quite happy, especially since I can't discard the fact that I was driving a reserve car, with a test engine on a track that I never ran before." explained Monteiro.
Gian Carlo Minardi was keen on flattering Tiago Monteiro's performance, highlighting the fact that the Portuguese is ready for the Formula One world: "He performed beyond our expectations and with the quality he added to this workout, I have no doubts he is perfectly prepared to enter the F1 Circus."
"He's a driver who makes no mistakes and has an amazing evolution capacity. Tiago improved systematically throughout the whole morning, giving good feedback to the engineers. We are all very proud of having Tiago on our Team" said the man responsible for the Minardi test.
The team scheduled a second test for November requiring the services of Tiago Monteiro again.