European Minardi Cosworth continued with its second day of testing in Spain this week, Gianmaria Bruni handling the driving duties during the morning session and carrying on with the programme of hardware and software evaluation that ...
European Minardi Cosworth continued with its second day of testing in Spain this week, Gianmaria Bruni handling the driving duties during the morning session and carrying on with the programme of hardware and software evaluation that commenced yesterday.
Bruni then handed over to team mate, Zsolt Baumgartner, for the afternoon session, the 23-year-old Hungarian looking forward to his first experience of the European Minardi PS03 chassis. Unfortunately, however, a gearbox problem, combined with a number of red-flag incidents on the circuit, meant he had very little time on track. The test programme will continue tomorrow, with Baumgartner scheduled to be behind the wheel throughout the day.
"The car was even a little better this morning, and I was further able to improve my lap time compared with yesterday. We didn't manage to complete every detail of the technical programme, due to one or two small 'glitches', but on the positive side, we were able to test a number of new mechanical solutions, which I'm sure will be helpful for the development of the 2004 car."
"I was not lucky today, as some technical problems prevented me from doing any proper running. It was unfortunate, because I was really looking forward to driving a Formula One car again after quite a long interval. What I can say about the Minardi, though, is that I'm feeling pretty comfortable in the cockpit. I hope we will have a better time tomorrow, and that there will be a chance to build up to some good lap times. I need to familiarise myself with the car and to get into the Formula One 'rhythm' again."
Andy Tilley: Senior engineer:
"We had a useful morning of testing with Gianmaria, but we were disappointed that Zsolt wasn't able to get more time in the car this afternoon, as it was his first run in a European Minardi. We believe we've sorted the gearbox problem, however, and we look forward to a productive day tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team principal:
"Testing is partly about sorting out as many potential technical difficulties as you can away from the highly pressurised environment of a Grand Prix weekend. It was unfortunate that Zsolt didn't get any meaningful running this afternoon during his first time in a European Minardi, but at least we were able to get to grips with a gearbox problem."
"Gimmi put in a good morning's work prior to a scheduled engine change, and considering the number of red flags that also interrupted today's sessions, we probably haven't done too badly. We'll aim to make up for the lost time tomorrow."
Gianmaria Bruni (morning);
Laps: 22/88.1 kms
Best time: 1:12.469
Zsolt Baumgartner (afternoon)
Laps: no timed laps
Note: Yesterday's European Minardi release from Valencia erroneously referred to the chassis being used at this test as a PS04-b. The team is, in fact, running a single PS03 chassis in Spain this week. The PS04-b designation will apply to the 2004 European Minardi. The team apologises for any confusion caused.