Under sunny Spanish skies, KL Minardi began the first day of a two-day test session in company with a number of other Formula One teams. The Faenza squad has two PS01 chassis at its disposal for the Valencia programme, and today the cars were...
Under sunny Spanish skies, KL Minardi began the first day of a two-day test session in company with a number of other Formula One teams. The Faenza squad has two PS01 chassis at its disposal for the Valencia programme, and today the cars were driven by the team's Russian tester, Sergey Zlobin, and French driver, Franck Montagny.
The primary purpose of the session was to give both drivers track time, Zlobin continuing to climb the steep Formula One learning curve and Montagny enjoying his first taste of F1 power as a reward for winning the 2001 Formula Nissan Championship. The young Russian will continue driving tomorrow, when the team will also be evaluating hardware and software intended for use on the 2003 Minardi chassis, the construction of which is progressing well at the team's Italian factory.
"I drove here in Valencia for the very first time today, and at the beginning I was aware I had to learn the new track, which was a bit difficult. In addition, I had not driven a Formula One car for a month, and I needed some time to get to grips with the PS01 again. I have now looked at the telemetry data, however, and understand the handling the car a lot better. Later this evening, I will go through all the information we gathered today, and I feel sure this will help me to improve tomorrow. Having said that, I am aware that my learning process will be long and hard, but I'm looking forward to continuing testing and seeing my first good results soon."
"First of all, I must say a big thank you to the Minardi team for giving me the opportunity to test a Formula One car, which was a reward for my victory in the 2001 Nissan Championship. I was really looking forward to driving the Minardi PS01 today, and I think everything went well. The only slight problem is that I was a little tall for the cockpit, and at the beginning of the test I felt a bit uncomfortable. Once we started running, though, I was able to adapt. For my very first time in a F1 car, it was a good sensation and I enjoyed it very much. I fly to Brazil tonight, where I will dispute the last four races of the Nissan Championship, before returning to Europe and doing more F1 testing over the winter. I am more than happy to have had my first experience of Formula One performance with Minardi."
"We had a constructive day with no technical problems. It was a good debut for Montagny, and as for Sergey, he is continuing his apprenticeship in F1. There is still much work for him to do, but he is learning a lot and has strong determination."
Franck Montagny (F)
Chassis: Minardi PS01/02
Laps completed: 29
Fastest lap: 1 min 17.030 secs
Sergey Zlobin (RUS)
Chassis: Minardi PS01/04
Laps completed: 29
Fastest lap: 1 min 21.880 secs