With both a two-day test at Mugello and a baptism of fire in the San Marino Grand Prix during the last two weeks, the Minardi Cosworth PS05 this weekend faces the challenge of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya, near...
With both a two-day test at Mugello and a baptism of fire in the San Marino Grand Prix during the last two weeks, the Minardi Cosworth PS05 this weekend faces the challenge of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya, near Barcelona.
It is a track with which drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher are both familiar, even though the Minardi F1 Team does not test at the Spanish circuit with the frequency of many of its rivals.
Today's activities followed the normal pattern for the Friday of a race weekend, with Minardi drivers and technical staff working on developing a good chassis balance while assessing tyres, braking and software.
Both cars were also fitted with a new rear wing configuration today. The drivers experienced differing fortunes in the two one-hour practice sessions, Friesacher enjoying a largely untroubled time throughout, while Albers suffered a non-damaging off-course excursion in the opening session and a gearbox downshift "glitch" in the second.
Fortunately, quick work by the circuit corner workers had the car back at the Minardi garage in short order, allowing the problem to be rectified and Albers to carry on with his programme.
"We had a normal day for a Friday, and although we lost some time this morning, and then a little more this afternoon, As a result, we weren't able to try quite as many things as we would have liked, but hopefully, tomorrow we'll be able to make up for the lost ground."
"Generally, it was not a bad day and we tried a couple of new things that worked well. I was struggling a little bit with the balance of the car today, and although we improved it as the day progressed, we will continue to work on this tomorrow and aim to find a good solution. I'd like to thank Bridgestone, because we were able to test quite a number of tyre compounds at the recent Mugello test, and that has helped quite a lot."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"Generally, it has been a productive first day in Spain as we continue to learn about, and make progress with, the PS05. The lap times came down steadily, and it is pleasing to see we have ended the day tantalisingly close to our nearest rivals."
"Our main goals this weekend are to consolidate the gains made on reliability at the Mugello test, while picking up the pace in order to close the gap to our competitors, On today's evidence, we are progressing well. This is in large measure due to the hard work and long hours that continue to be put in by the Minardi mechanics and technicians, so once again, a big thank you to all of them for their unstinting efforts."
Best lap: 1 min 19.581 secs
Best lap: 1 min 20.686 secs