The second, and final, day of testing for Minardi Cosworth at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari saw Zsolt Baumgartner take over the driving duties from team mate, Gianmaria Bruni. In weather conditions that ranged from heavy rain to intermittent...
The second, and final, day of testing for Minardi Cosworth at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari saw Zsolt Baumgartner take over the driving duties from team mate, Gianmaria Bruni. In weather conditions that ranged from heavy rain to intermittent showers, the young Hungarian continued with the team's technical programme, which included assessment of aerodynamic components, and chassis set-up evaluation. The wet track surface also provided the team with an opportunity to work with Bridgestone technicians in testing the Japanese company's latest wet-weather tyres.
At the conclusion of today's final pre-season test for Minardi Cosworth, the new PS04B had amassed nearly 1,200 kms of running in total, accompanied by excellent reliability. It provides a significant confidence boost for the Faenza team as it enters the final stages of preparation for the start of the 2004 Formula One season.
"Today was the first time I have driven the new Minardi in wet conditions, and as a result, I'm aware I have some work to do to improve. We made some good progress during the day, but I feel we still need to find a good chassis balance for the wet. I found myself struggling particularly with traction when the track was still wet but starting to dry."
Massimo Rivola, Team Manager:
"The rainy conditions today were not ideal, but thanks to Bridgestone, we had the chance to evaluate the company's two different wet tyre constructions -- "heavy wets" in the morning and intermediates in the afternoon. The engineers were very pleased with the behaviour of the tyres. As for Zsolt, he is clearly becoming more confident with the car and improving steadily and consistently. Generally, he handled the wet weather well, and it's just unfortunate that a small mistake near the end of the afternoon session saw him go off the track and do some light damage to the front of the car. Otherwise, it was another positive day of testing for Minardi Cosworth."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal:
"While we would have preferred dry conditions to continue our technical programme at Imola today, the rain did allow us to work solidly with our tyre partner, Bridgestone, and evaluate the PS04B in wet conditions for the first time. Given that the first race in Melbourne has a history of wet weather, this could prove useful. The team moves on to Australia next week for the start of what I'm sure will prove to be an exciting Formula One season."
Chassis allocation: PS04B/02
Laps completed: 55/271.3 kms
Fastest lap: 1 min 38.990 secs