Following the debut of the Minardi Cosworth PS05 at last weekend's San Marino Grand Prix, the Faenza squad today moved to the Mugello circuit, where a two-day test got under way. The team arrived with three chassis - a pair of PS05s for race...
Following the debut of the Minardi Cosworth PS05 at last weekend's San Marino Grand Prix, the Faenza squad today moved to the Mugello circuit, where a two-day test got under way. The team arrived with three chassis - a pair of PS05s for race drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher, and a PS04B for official test driver, Chanoch Nissany.
Unfortunately, the opening day's programme did not run quite to schedule, a variety of technical problems keeping the cars in the garage until late morning. Once they were on the circuit, however, the plan was to make up for lost time, but a collision between Albers and Nissany, following a misunderstanding about track position, resulted in both Minardi chassis having to be returned to the team's garage for repairs.
On a brighter note, once a gearbox problem had been addressed, Friesacher was able to do some serious running in the afternoon, and put the planned technical programme back on course. The test continues tomorrow, although promising Chinese racer, Marchy Lee Ying-Kin, will not now be having his first taste of Formula One performance, his run having been temporarily postponed due to a logistics problem.
"It was a shame we lost some time in the morning with a gearbox problem, but we had a good session this afternoon. We tried several different things, and made progress. Mugello is definitely not an easy track to learn, but overall, I'm pleased with the work we've done today, and look forward to a good day tomorrow as we work on developing the new car."
"There is not much to say. We had a couple of short runs this morning, and now hope for a better day tomorrow."
"This is my first experience of Mugello, and it certainly lives up to its reputation of being a physically very demanding circuit. We did some running this morning, and will carry on tomorrow with the aim of making up for lost time."
Massimo Rivola, Sporting Director and Team Manager:
"It's difficult to hide the fact that we're disappointed by the crash between our two drivers, as it has put us behind with the scheduled test programme. On the positive side, Patrick was able to do some useful running and, as a result, we have made progress on improving reliability. In addition, we are grateful to Bridgestone for making available a number of different tyre compounds for evaluation at this test."
"Finally, I would like to make it clear that Minardi is fully respecting the testing arrangement that is in place with other teams, and although we have three chassis present here at Mugello, we have only allowed two cars on track at the same time. We will now hope fervently for a better day tomorrow."
Best lap: 1 min 25.623 secs
Total laps: 38
Best lap: 1 min 27.417 secs
Total laps: 15
Best lap: 1 min 39.519 secs
Total laps: 26