It's not often the fastest driver in a Formula One qualifying session is nearly 25 seconds a lap faster than his slowest rival, but that was the situation today at the Nurburgring, as teams prepare for Sunday's Grand Prix of Europe. The reason for...
It's not often the fastest driver in a Formula One qualifying session is nearly 25 seconds a lap faster than his slowest rival, but that was the situation today at the Nurburgring, as teams prepare for Sunday's Grand Prix of Europe. The reason for the marked disparity in lap times was a sudden heavy rain shower just after the halfway point of the one-hour session, which soaked the track and caused several competitors to spin.
European Minardi Cosworth drivers Justin Wilson and Jos Verstappen both had to make their qualifying runs in the wet conditions, but made full use of their grippy Bridgestone wet weather tyres to record the 15th and 16th fastest times of the afternoon respectively. Once again, the excellent reliability of the European Minardi Cosworth entries facilitated a productive Friday morning test session for the team, Verstappen and Wilson carrying out a programme that included software appraisal, aerodynamic component assessment and tyre comparison.
"We had the advantage of having several people go ahead of us in the wet, which helped us to assess the conditions and adjust the chassis. During the run, the car was good in wet trim, and I just concentrated on driving as smoothly as possible. I'm happy with the result, but we've still got a lot to do tomorrow. We'll just keep working on it."
"The car was quite good in the dry, but when it starts to rain, there are only so many things you can alter before a qualifying run, and you also have to assess how much risk to take in making those changes. Compared with Justin, I wasn't as quick in the wet qualifying session, but I was quicker in the dry sessions this morning. In any event, sixteenth isn't too bad for Friday, and it also means we don't have to go out first in qualifying tomorrow. Personally, I hope for a dry session, and track conditions that are consistent for everyone."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal - European Minardi Cosworth:
"Today saw European Minardi drivers Justin Wilson and Jos Verstappen struggle to find grip in the early sessions. Rain interrupted Friday's first qualifying session, however, and thanks to our fantastic Bridgestone wet tyres, we were able to show the true potential of the Minardi chassis, pleasingly finishing in 15th and 16th places."
Time: 1min54.546 secs
Time: 1min 55.921 secs