HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY, July 27, 2001 -- If trouble-free laps run are an indication of a good race weekend in the making, then European Minardi F1 has reason for optimism after the first day of practice for the German Grand Prix. Drivers Fernando ...
HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY, July 27, 2001 -- If trouble-free laps run are an indication of a good race weekend in the making, then European Minardi F1 has reason for optimism after the first day of practice for the German Grand Prix. Drivers Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques progressed through full technical programmes, working with the team's engineering staff to adjust their cars to deal with the special demands of the high-speed German circuit. The young Spaniard also sampled the latest version of the PS01 chassis fitted with new gearbox, aerodynamic package and rear suspension geometry during the morning session. Both drivers' lap times in the hot, humid conditions were competitive and the team will now take advantage of the overnight break to make some detail changes to the cars in a bid to liberate additional performance for tomorrow's all-important qualifying session.
"Today's outcome looks fine to me. In the morning session, we tested the new gearbox, which we introduced last week at the Monza test. The development work carried out immediately after the test on this new unit is already proving to be effective. It is brand new, and there is still a lot of work to do to optimise its performance. In the afternoon, we reverted to the previous version of the gearbox. We continued the set-up work we started in the morning and also compared the two tyres compounds at our disposal."
"We improved a lot between the sessions and the second hour definitely turned out better than the first, although I think we have still not reached the optimum for this circuit. We are working in the right direction, though, and I was able to improve my lap times quite a lot by the end of the afternoon session. I feel that if we continue working that way, we should get further improvements out of tomorrow's session."
"The European Minardi team completed a useful opening day in preparation for the German Grand Prix, both drivers running through their assigned programmes without notable incident. Fernando, in the PS01B-specification chassis, continued testing the new gearbox, and while there were a few minor problems, he nevertheless finished with a creditable time. Tarso completed the day without any problems and we look forward to being able to build on what we've learned for tomorrow's qualifying session."