NURBURGRING, GERMANY, June 23, 2001 - There were handshakes and pats on the back in abundance for Tarso Marques as he arrived back at the European Minardi F1 garage after his final qualifying run for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Europe. After ...
NURBURGRING, GERMANY, June 23, 2001 - There were handshakes and pats on the back in abundance for Tarso Marques as he arrived back at the European Minardi F1 garage after his final qualifying run for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Europe. After encountering a slight problem with his helmet on the first lap of the afternoon, the young Brazilian made a further three solid runs, eventually recording a time only 0.06 seconds behind that of team mate, Fernando Alonso. Both men made good progress finding a suitable handling balance for their cars during this morning's two 45-minute practice sessions, and this was reflected in their competitive lap times in qualifying. <pre> FERNANDO ALONSO Position 21st Fastest lap 1 min 18.630 sec </pre> "A good session for me. This morning, we did a good job trying further different settings and made useful progress. I had a trouble-free qualifying session. Unfortunately, my third run was aborted after I made a mistake, but this did not influence my performance. We believe we did the maximum we could today and I can say I feel pretty satisfied with my car's behaviour." <pre> TARSO MARQUES Position 22nd Fastest lap 1 min 18.689 sec </pre> "I am fairly happy because we improved my car a lot during this morning's session. I feel sure that we could have done much more, however, if we had more time at our disposal. It is really a shame to have lost half of Friday's free practice time. In the qualifying session, we improved by 1.5 seconds compared with this morning's performance, which means there remains room for improvement. Anyway, now we will focus our efforts on tomorrow's race."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal, European Minardi F1
"In what turned out to be a rather uneventful qualifying session, European Minardi drivers finished the day with very creditable times. They may be starting the race P21 and P22, but their lap times are less than a second off the pace of the mid-field teams. We're particularly pleased with Tarso's performance today - it has to rate as one of his best in qualifying this year. A small mistake cost Fernando his third run, and he lost a little time in the garage while his mechanics checked out a suspected problem in the cockpit of his car, but he also drove well. The chassis now seems to have a good balance in race trim, so we will be looking for a competitive performance from both drivers tomorrow." <pre> Chassis allocation PS01/04 -Tarso Marques (No 20) PS01/03 - Fernando Alonso (No 21) PS01/01 - Spare