European Minardi Cosworth today successfully completed a comparison test between its current PS03 chassis and the car that is likely to form the basis of the team's 2004 Formula One challenger, the PS04. Run in near-perfect weather conditions at...
European Minardi Cosworth today successfully completed a comparison test between its current PS03 chassis and the car that is likely to form the basis of the team's 2004 Formula One challenger, the PS04. Run in near-perfect weather conditions at the Mugello Circuit, near Pisa, a very busy technical programme saw the Faenza squad's regular drivers, Jos Verstappen and Nicolas Kiesa, switching between cars throughout the day in order to evaluate them in differing configurations.
Some track time was lost during the morning while gearbox glitches were addressed on the PS04, but these were solved in time to have a productive afternoon session. European Minardi engineers also took the opportunity to carry out further assessment of a significantly revised engine cover/side pod arrangement for the PS03.
"I think this was a good test. We compared both cars, and by the end of the day, the PS03 was quicker by less than 0.2 sec. It would have been useful, however, if we could have spent a bit more time with the PS04 chassis in order to find a better set-up, as we started the day without really knowing anything about the car. We did some good work, though; the PS04 ran well and produced reasonably good lap times. I was also quite happy with the PS03 today on this track, which is very nice to drive on. To be honest, one day is really not enough time to carry out a thorough comparison, but it is a good start."
"I wasn't able to do that many laps in the PS04, but when I did run on a new set of tyres, it was immediately obvious that the level of grip is absolutely amazing. In fact, I don't think I've ever felt as much grip in a race car in my life. Before I went out, I was aware of the time Jos set in the PS04, which was very good, but when I felt how much grip there was, I understood how he done the time."
"I had a problem with the PS04 early in my run, and had to return to the garage, but after that, I managed four timed laps, with the best time a little better than I managed in the PS03. The handling of the car was consistent and didn't degrade over the run, although it has to be said the PS03 was very good to drive here as well. The brakes on both cars are excellent, although the slightly higher level of downforce on the PS04 means it can stop a little quicker. Overall, I'm happy with how today went."
Paul Stoddart, Team principal:
"The team has done a useful day's testing here in Mugello with the PS03 and PS04. Some time was lost this morning while a gearbox problem was dealt with on the PS04, but then we did some solid running this afternoon. Ultimately, there was nothing in the lap times between the two cars, but it is clear there is substantial development potential in the PS04. We will now return to the factory and analyse the data we've gathered, which will help us decide the direction we are going to take with our 2004 car."
Chassis: PS03/03, PS04/01, PS04/04
Best time PS03/03: 1:25.4, 27 laps
Best time PS04/04: 1:25.6, 27 laps
Chassis: PS03/03, PS04/04
Best time PS03/03: 1:28.4, 19 laps
Best time PS04/04: 1:28.2, 15 laps