European Minardi F1 gave its new gearbox the sternest test to date during the first day of practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, and it came through with flying colours. The titanium-cased unit, fitted to the car used by Fernando Alonso, is...
European Minardi F1 gave its new gearbox the sternest test to date during the first day of practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, and it came through with flying colours. The titanium-cased unit, fitted to the car used by Fernando Alonso, is smaller and lighter than its predecessor and forms part of a package of changes to the PS01 chassis, including revised aerodynamics and rear suspension geometry. Tarso Marques' chassis was also fitted with a modified aerodynamic package. Despite experiencing a couple of harmless spins as they got to grips with the slippery surface of the Hungaroring, the two drivers made good progress, working through the full technical programme laid down for the day by the team's engineers.
"Today's efforts were focused mainly on testing the new gearbox, which is proving more and more reliable, especially after some recent modifications that have been made. Both sessions were trouble-free, and tomorrow we'll concentrate our work on some additional areas in order to improve the car's performance further."
"Among other things, we tested two different types of dampers during today's sessions. We expected the one we tested in the afternoon to be better, but in fact, neither the grip nor the balance of the car improved from the morning session. It is clear that we'll go back to the first choice of dampers tomorrow. In the second session, we carried out routine work on tyres and aerodynamics."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal
"The European Minardi team has enjoyed a positive start to the weekend with two trouble-free sessions. The track was very dirty and grip was at a premium as a result. Also, the curbs caught out a number of drivers, including Tarso and Fernando, but generally just resulted in a few harmless spins. We're very pleased with the way the new gearbox has behaved and the situation therefore looks promising for tomorrow."