Minardi Cosworth launched into the first official day of the Hungarian Grand Prix -- home race for driver, Zsolt Baumgartner -- and made steady progress during Friday's two one-hour sessions. There was a minor hiccough for the Budapest-based...
Minardi Cosworth launched into the first official day of the Hungarian Grand Prix -- home race for driver, Zsolt Baumgartner -- and made steady progress during Friday's two one-hour sessions. There was a minor hiccough for the Budapest-based driver, when his car coasted into the pits 20 minutes into the morning session, the result of a sensor problem. This was rectified, however, and he was soon back on track.
By comparison, team mate, Gianmaria Bruni, had an uninterrupted opening session at the Hungaroring, although in common with Baumgartner and Minardi test driver, Bas Leinders, he found himself grappling with a strongly oversteering chassis, possibly the result of a relatively dirty track surface.
Unfortunately, the afternoon session was less successful for him, as his car spun at turn 11 on the fourth lap out of the pits, and became stuck in the gravel. The team took the opportunity of the "maximum-downforce" nature of the Hungaroring to try several new components on the Minardi Cosworth PS04B today, all of which showed promise. The team looks forward to making further progress tomorrow.
"I'm satisfied even if we still have to find the perfect chassis set-up for tomorrow. Bas did a very good job today. He has tested new parts, which proved to be successful. It is very important that tomorrow we find the correct set-up for both the qualifying session and the race. I hope to be able to get close to the Jordans, as to reduce the gap to them is something I really like!"
"If we are able to get ahead of them here in Hungary, that would be fantastic. I was really excited to be able to drive in front of so many Hungarian fans here today, all supporting me at my home race. I hope to be able to do a really good job for them over the next few days."
"It was okay at the beginning, but then we changed the car for the second session compared with how we started the morning. Unfortunately, I made a mistake at turn 11 on my first run of the afternoon and the car became stuck in the gravel, so that was the day finished. It's really a pity, but we will aim to improve tomorrow."
"For me, today showed that I can improve every time I am able to go out in a Formula One car, and that is reflected in my lap times. I pushed very hard straightaway on my early runs this morning, despite the track being dirty. Working with my engineer, we were successful in dialling out a heavy oversteer during the first session, and then we concentrated mostly on tyre comparisons during the second session."
"I'm sure I could have achieved my best time of the day on my last run, but I allowed myself to get a little too close to Mark Webber, and was slowed up as a result. I could have been in the 1 minute 24 second-bracket if not for that. I must thank the team, who worked even harder than usual today, as we covered a lot of laps and made many changes. It has been an excellent day and we have got through a good deal of useful work."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal:
"It has been a case of mixed fortunes during the first day of the Hungarian Grand Prix, which is an important event for the team, as it is Zsolt's 'home' race. While the morning session went smoothly enough, Gimmi failed to return to the garage on his first run of the afternoon, and Zsolt, sadly, lost time on what should have been his fastest run of the day due to traffic."
"Bas, on the other hand, had an excellent day, completing his full technical programme and setting the fastest time of the Minardi drivers. We now look forward to making further progress tomorrow."
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: 1 min 25.450 secs
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: 1 min 26.365 secs
BAS LEINDERS, Test Driver
Chassis: PS04B/03 (Spare)
Best lap: 1 min 25.339 secs