Wilux Minardi Cosworth enjoyed a very positive start to the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, running three chassis in today's two one-hour official practice sessions. The Faenza team's race drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, were joined...
Wilux Minardi Cosworth enjoyed a very positive start to the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, running three chassis in today's two one-hour official practice sessions. The Faenza team's race drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, were joined for the first time by official test and reserve driver, Bas Leinders, the Belgian having completed the necessary Formula One testing distance required to qualify for his Superlicence this past week.
Team personnel spent their time today adjusting the Minardi PS04B chassis for the demands of the spectacular Sepang International Circuit and were pleased at the end of the afternoon session with the promising lap times posted by the drivers. With the exception of a hydraulic leak on Bruni's car in the first session, Friday's technical programme ran smoothly and the team looks forward to making further useful progress tomorrow.
"It has been a good day, and even though we had a small technical problem this morning, it was solved quickly. I'm happy with the work we did today, and also with my lap times, which were reasonably consistent. I made a few little mistakes on my quickest lap and I know for sure we can improve on that time tomorrow."
"I was reasonably happy with my time at the end of that last session. I was also pleased that I didn't make any serious mistakes and there were no technical problems, which meant we were able to run through our full programme for today. I learned the circuit quickly, and in the course of the sessions, we were able to find a good tyre compound, although we still need to get just a little better balance between the front and rear of the car. We'll work on that for the race. The latest tyres from Bridgestone are very good, and I hope we will have a strong qualifying session tomorrow."
"My first day of testing with the team has been a very positive experience. I'm very satisfied with the way things went, especially since I had to learn everything today -- the track, the car, the tyres. I started off gradually and just worked on picking up a bit more time each lap. It was also good to be able to get to work quickly and start assisting the team to develop the car. We tried some new parts, which seemed to provide an improvement, and these should eventually find their way on to the race cars. I'm happy to have been able to help with this work, and I want to thank the team for making me feel very welcome today and helping me to settle in quickly."
John Walton, Sporting Director, Wilux Minardi Cosworth
"We're pleased with the outcome of today's practice sessions, and other than the problem with Gimmi's car, things have gone very smoothly. It's also worth noting the latest Bridgestone tyres earned excellent reviews from the drivers. The team would like to thank Bas for a mature job today. He played himself in steadily, produced consistent lap times and provided useful feedback to the engineers. I would also like to thank the boys, who put in an excellent effort in the high heat and humidity to repair Gimmi's car quickly and get him back out again before the first session was over. We're looking forward now to a good day tomorrow."
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No. 20)
Best lap: 1 min 37.818 secs
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No. 21)
Best lap: 1 min 38.588 secs
BAS LEINDERS - Third Driver
Best lap: 1 min 41.485 secs