Canadian GP: Minardi Saturday qualifying notes

Wilux Minardi Cosworth drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner both showed good pace in the final two practice sessions for tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve near Montréal. Unfortunately, neither driver was...

Wilux Minardi Cosworth drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner both showed good pace in the final two practice sessions for tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve near Montréal. Unfortunately, neither driver was able to capitalise fully when it came to the afternoon qualifying session.

A sudden drop in engine fuel pressure as he exited the pits for his pre-qualifying run meant Bruni was forced to switch to the team's spare car for qualifying. With only a short time to adapt the chassis for Bruni, however, it was not possible to make him completely comfortable, and after sampling the car on his warm-up lap, he elected to forfeit his qualifying run.

Baumgartner enjoyed a much more straightforward day, and completed all his scheduled runs. The young Hungarian's aggressive qualifying lap would undoubtedly have dipped into the 1 min 16-second bracket if he not braked just a fraction too early for the final corner. Nonetheless, the team is pleased with the progress made so far this weekend and is looking forward to Sunday's race.

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"Generally, it has been a productive day and I have to thank the guys, as they put in a great effort. There was a small problem with the engine, which meant they had to change it, and then we decided overnight to go in a different direction with our tyre choice, which required a lot of alterations to the car. We spent some time in the two sessions this morning finding a good chassis balance, and we then had to make further adjustments to compensate for the higher air and track temperatures this afternoon."

"I was fairly happy with my final qualifying run. It's just a pity I made a mistake under braking for the last corner, though, because otherwise I could have been in the 1 min 16s. It's a pity about Gimmi's problem in qualifying, but hopefully we can still have a good race tomorrow."

Gianmaria Bruni:

"I set a good lap time this morning with lots of fuel on board, and was very pleased with that. Unfortunately, on my pre-qualifying out-lap, there was a fuel pressure drop as I left the pit lane and the car just stopped. The guys worked really hard to switch me to the spare car, but I just wasn't comfortable with the pedals when I went out on my qualifying lap. I therefore decided to cut the run short, as there was no point in continuing with a car I couldn't drive properly. I just hope luck is more on my side tomorrow."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:

"It hasn't been the most productive of days. Sadly, Gimmi's car suffered a fuel pressure problem on the out lap, which meant he had to switch to the spare car for his qualifying run. This was not correctly set up for him, and as a result, he did not complete his flying lap. Zsolt went well in the two morning sessions today, and if not for a small mistake in the final sector of his qualifying lap, he might well have split the Jordans. Overall, I think we deserved a little better result considering our performance so far this weekend."

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: 1 min 17.064secs
Position: 18th

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: No time
Position: 20th

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni , Gilles Villeneuve , Paul Stoddart , Zsolt Baumgartner
Teams Minardi , Jordan