British GP: Minardi Friday practice notes

As was the case at the French Grand Prix last weekend, Wilux Minardi Cosworth had a very productive initial day of preparations for Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Faenza squad's regular race drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt ...

As was the case at the French Grand Prix last weekend, Wilux Minardi Cosworth had a very productive initial day of preparations for Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Faenza squad's regular race drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, plus official test driver, Bas Leinders, were all out on track early, and progressed steadily through the normal Friday technical programme.

Leinders chose to go in a slightly different "direction" with chassis set-up from his team mates, and it obviously paid off, as his best lap clearly demonstrated. Even though Minardi team members were fully focussed on their work today, there was no doubt that their private thoughts were very much with Minardi Sporting Director, John Walton.

Gianmaria Bruni:

"It's not been a bad day at all, but it would have been even better if I hadn't been caught up in traffic on what should have been my quickest lap -- it definitely lost me a couple of tenths. I'm also pleased that we were able to try different set-ups today. Bas went in a different direction, and the results look good, so we'll perhaps try that tomorrow. We've done some good work today, and now it would be fantastic if we could hear some good news concerning John. We really miss him."

Bas Leinders:

"I'm very pleased with the work we've done today, as we were able to improve the car so it was to my liking. We suffered a little with understeer throughout the day, but improved the balance as the sessions went on. I had a potentially good lap under way this afternoon, but Glock went off and I slowed, losing a good three-tenths of a second. If that hadn't happened, I would have been 21st behind Heidfeld. We're definitely going in the right direction."

Zolt Baumgartner:

"We were able to find a good balance for the car, just like we had in Magny-Cours, so it has been a useful day. Unfortunately, in the second session, we had a small gearbox problem, which lost me some valuable track time while it was fixed. That is the reason I was not able to achieve as quick a lap time as I would have liked today."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:

"As many people are aware, Minardi has had a tough week with the news that its much-loved Sporting Director, John Walton, suffered a serious heart attack in the early hours of last Tuesday morning. It goes without saying that all the team's thoughts throughout this weekend are with John's family and friends. The team has pulled together and is determined to put up a strong showing at Silverstone, and today's efforts by all three drivers showed we are doing exactly that."

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: 1 min 22.516secs
Position: 22nd

BAS LEINDERS, Test Driver
Chassis: PS04B/03 (Spare)
Best lap: 1 min 22.792secs
Position: 24th

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: 1 min 23.436 secs
Position: 25th

-minardi-

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Series Formula 1
Teams Minardi