The 2003 edition of the British Grand Prix turned out to be an incident-packed affair run in dry but very windy conditions. The European Minardi Cosworth driving duo of Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson both had busy races, each stopping twice on...
The 2003 edition of the British Grand Prix turned out to be an incident-packed affair run in dry but very windy conditions. The European Minardi Cosworth driving duo of Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson both had busy races, each stopping twice on his way to providing the team with its third consecutive two-car finish. Wilson was the first to visit the pits, on lap 12, and aside from taking on fuel and tyres, the nose of his car was changed as the result of damage to the right-hand side plate, sustained in an opening-lap brush with his team mate.
His race situation was further complicated by the fact that the necessary fuel load was not delivered during the stop, meaning the Englishman had to visit the pits earlier than intended for his second stop, and then take on a heavier-than-planned fuel load to carry him to the end of the race. By comparison, Verstappen's stops, on lap 13 and 36, were without incident, and he drove a gritty race to claim 15th place, one position ahead of his team mate.
"It was a very difficult race with little grip available, but it was good we finished. That was positive, as was the fact my neck held up. The pit stops were good -- the team brought me in at the right times, and the guys did a nice job. All in all, it has been a bit of a frustrating weekend, but now we concentrate on the next race, at Hockenheim."
"It was quite a tough race, and although it was a shame we weren't close enough to battle with any of the other drivers at the start, it was nice to pass one or two people. Unfortunately, the auto upshift failed to work coming out of Club, and Firman was able to get by. Also on that opening lap, Jos drifted wide at one point and hit my front wing. The damage meant the car understeered until the guys were able to change the nose at the first pit stop."
"After that, I just pushed as hard as I could with the aim of getting the car to the finish. The other thing that was really noticeable out there today was how windy it was -- there were about 10 large flags I could see around the circuit, and they were all blowing in different directions every lap. It meant the car would suddenly lose downforce when you weren't expecting it, which was a bit disconcerting. Despite the problems, though, it was nice to finish ahead of a Sauber today."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, European Minardi Cosworth:
"In what was an action-packed British Grand Prix with incredible levels of reliability from the cars, the European Minardis of Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson completed the race in 15th and 16th positions. Despite those finishing positions, though, we found we were able to fight with the Saubers and Jordans, and are happy that both cars demonstrated excellent reliability, allowing us see the chequered flag again this afternoon."
Best lap 1 min 27.021 secs
Position: 15 No. of laps: 58
Best lap 1 min 25.859secs
Position: 16 No. of laps: 58