Wilux Minardi Cosworth arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya to commence preparations for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix with a useful Mugello test behind it. The one-day session last week enabled the Faenza squad to gain further data and a better understanding of the latest aerodynamic package fitted to the Minardi PS04B chassis.
Race drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, along with test driver, Bas Leinders, launched into a normal Friday programme in Spain, concentrating on chassis balance, software assessment and tyre evaluation. Despite an afternoon shower that dampened the circuit and resulted in a number of yellow-flag incidents, all aspects of today's technical programme were completed and Minardi technical staff pronounced themselves very satisfied with the reliability of the cars' systems.
"It has been a good day, and we have certainly improved the car's performance from Imola, which is a step forward. I would like to thank the guys, as they did a very good job today making a lot of changes to the chassis. Both types of tyre being provided by Bridgestone this weekend are very good, but we got some useful data today, which will allow us to work out which is the better choice for us. I'm also pleased that we set a comparatively good time, which puts us a little closer to our rivals."
"By the end of the day, I felt we hadn't done too badly at all. We need to do a little more work on the balance, and although we didn't quite achieve the lap time we wanted this afternoon, we know why that was. Generally, the car feels good, and I am confident that just by changing some small things tomorrow, we can make a further improvement."
"I was running the previous aero package compared with Gimmi and Zsolt in order to gather more comparative data. We had a good day, without any significant problems, and I was able to do a lot of running. The first hour of practice was spent carrying out set-up tests, which proved productive. I then did two long tyre comparison runs of 13 laps each in the afternoon, and although it was fun doing the shorter runs, I learned some more about the car this afternoon."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:
"We're really pleased with today's performance. Gimmi's best lap was particularly encouraging, as it was less than half a second off Pantano's Jordan, and we look forward to building on this progress tomorrow. All three drivers put in a solid performance, providing valuable data for the weekend."
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: 1 min 19.149 secs
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: 1 min 20.313 secs
BAS LEINDERS, Test Driver
Chassis: PS04B/04 (Spare)
Best lap: 1 min 22.189 secs