AUSSIES ON PARADE AT MISANO TEST The second day of Minardi's week-long test session at the Autodromo Santamonica saw a distinctly "Down Under" flavour at the Italian circuit, as young Australian drivers, Will Davison and Will Power, ...
AUSSIES ON PARADE AT MISANO TEST
The second day of Minardi's week-long test session at the Autodromo Santamonica saw a distinctly "Down Under" flavour at the Italian circuit, as young Australian drivers, Will Davison and Will Power, both experiencing Formula One performance for the first time, joined Israeli driver, Chanock Nissany, who was completing a two-day programme with the team.
Once again, the primary objective of the day's activities was to provide the drivers with the chance to acclimatise to Formula One, although the team's engineers also took the opportunity to evaluate some new aerodynamic components, which may be used in 2005.
Tomorrow, the emphasis switches to the Minardi F1 two-seater programme, as Zsolt Baumgartner, Christijan Albers and Nicolas Kiesa spend the day providing high-speed "chauffeur" services to nearly 50 passengers, who are certain to experience the "ride of a lifetime".
"It was very, very impressive, like nothing else I've ever driven. You just can't describe the brakes and the power, but ultimately, it's just another car, and you have to get used to it and become physically fit enough to drive race distances in it if you're going to do F1."
"The track proved to be quite easy to learn -- it's mostly slow and medium-speed corners, and other than the left-handers going onto the back straight, which are taken 'flat', there are no massively quick corners. Once I'd familiarised myself with the layout, I just found the quicker I went, the more I loved it. It was huge fun!"
"That was just an awesome experience -- incredible! You can prepare physically as much as you like, but nothing can really prepare you for the experience of driving a Formula One car for the first time. The power is amazing, although you do start to adapt to it quite quickly, but the whole package -- the engine, the gears, the brakes -- is just perfect. In fact, there is so much grip in the car, and the brakes are so good, that it's difficult to find the limit of the car in a short space of time, but at a test like this, that is exactly what you need to do."
"Personally, I feel pretty happy with the job I did today. I didn't make any mistakes, and each time I went out, I found there was something new to learn. I particularly want to thank Paul Stoddart, the engineers, and the whole Minardi team, all of whom have made me feel extremely welcome. That, in turn, hat has made my job easier. The problem is, now I've had a small taste of F1, I want more, because I definitely felt as though I was capable of doing a good job on the basis of today's experience."
"Today was very different for me in terms of the morning and afternoon sessions. In the morning, the car was in 2004 specification, but in the afternoon, I had the honour to be the first person to drive a Minardi with 2005 aerodymic package. It is immediately clear that there is much less downforce available, and I believe this cars will be much more difficult to drive and will demand considerable skill from the driver. Overall, I felt things went well today, and I would very much like to have the opportunity to continue my F1 "learning curve" with the team."
Paul Stoddart, Team principal:
"All three drivers today put in a solid performance but I was particularly pleased to be able to fulfil a promise made twelve months ago to give two young Australian drivers, Will Power and Will Davison, the opportunity to realise the dream of a lifetime, by driving an F1 car."
"They both acquitted themselves with distinction, in that they were on the pace quickly and set very competitive times after only a relatively small number of laps. This is hugely significant, when you consider neither of them had ever sat in an F1 car before today. I believe both have a positive future and let's hope at least one of them is able to follow in Mark Webber's footsteps."
"Chanock had a difficult job, having been selected to test the interim, 2005 specification aerodynamics. He quickly realised the significance of the massive reduction in downforce, and provided the team with some useful feedback on its 2005 aero package."
Best lap: 1 min 11.790 secs
Total laps: 22
Best lap: 1 min 11.900 secs
Total laps: 22
Best lap: 1 min 14.000 secs
Total laps: 50