MONTREAL, CANADA, June 9, 2001 -- The second day of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend witnessed progress for European Minardi F1, but not as much as the team would have wished. After a series of mechanical problems severely restricted track time on...
MONTREAL, CANADA, June 9, 2001 -- The second day of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend witnessed progress for European Minardi F1, but not as much as the team would have wished. After a series of mechanical problems severely restricted track time on Friday for drivers Tarso Marques and Fernando Alonso, the two men were among the first on the circuit for Saturday morning's opening 45-minute practice session, eager to make up for lost time. Their lap times improved steadily, although there continued to be niggling technical difficulties, Marques complaining of a lack of straight-line speed and Alonso losing time in the garage while his mechanics attended to a brake caliper problem. Both set "personal-best" lap times for the Montreal circuit during Saturday afternoon's qualifying session, but the young Spaniard's hard-charging efforts were negated when race stewards disallowed his qualifying times after the front wing of his car was found to be less than 100mm above the regulation reference plane. Alonso therefore starts from 22nd place on the grid, while Marques moves up a position, to 21st.
"It has been a difficult day. In the qualifying session, we found the car was losing power from the engine, as also happened in the second session this morning. As far as the balance of the car is concerned, it's acceptable, but there's not a great deal more we can do to it. The problem today was that our straight-line speed was low and therefore the car did not perform as well as it could have. As ever, all we can do is try our best in the race tomorrow and see what is possible."
"This morning, we could not do as much work as we would have liked due to an engine problem. During my third qualifying run, when I should have been able to achieve a better position on the starting grid, the session was stopped. Finally, I went out for the last run available, but another red light meant I missed the opportunity to do a final timed lap by a mere three seconds. Now I learn I have been disqualified, as the front wing of the car was found not to be in compliance with the regulations, and will have to start from last place on the grid. I know it doesn't make a big difference, but I have still lost a position."
"Today was disappointing for the European Minardi F1 team as, once again, valuable time was lost in the morning sessions. This left both drivers struggling to show their true potential. It's particularly frustrating because the mechanical issues that have afflicted the cars have not been consistent. We can only hope that tomorrow witnesses an improvement in the team's fortunes."