Wilux Minardi Cosworth drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner experienced differing fortunes during the final day of preparations for tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix, a situation that reflected in their respective afternoon qualifying ...
Wilux Minardi Cosworth drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner experienced differing fortunes during the final day of preparations for tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix, a situation that reflected in their respective afternoon qualifying performances. The drivers spent the morning practice sessions working with the team's technical staff to finalise the race specification for their Minardi PS04B chassis and to decide on a suitable qualifying trim for the changeable track conditions at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Unfortunately, however, Baumgartner missed 15 minutes of the final practice session after spinning into the gravel at Turn 7, and critically, lost two new-tyre runs as a result. Despite the difference in qualifying times, both Minardi drivers are now looking forward to participating in a significant chapter of Formula One history tomorrow, when they take their places on the grid for the start of the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix.
"We did some excellent work this morning. The mechanics and the engineers did a great job, because we changed the car a lot to arrive at a good set-up. I had a good first qualifying lap this afternoon, and an even better second one, so I am pleased for myself and for all the guys, who put in a big effort today. I think for the package we have, we achieved quite a good lap."
"I struggled a bit in qualifying, mainly, I think, because I missed the chance to try the last two sets of new tyres in the final morning session as a result of the spin I had. Maybe I was then a little too cautious in my qualifying runs as, like yesterday, the track changed in grip quite a lot between the morning and afternoon sessions and I didn't really get a good feel for the tyres. It was not a good qualifying performance, but the only thing to do now is to put it behind me and focus on making a good start and having a strong race tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:
"The morning sessions saw both drivers complete the majority of their technical programmes, albeit Zsolt's final run was curtailed by a small excursion into the gravel. Both drivers gave their all in qualifying, however, and despite finishing P18 and P19, we look forward to a productive race tomorrow at this magnificent facility."
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: 1 min 34.584 secs
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: 1 min 35.787 secs