Minardi Cosworth's busy September schedule became even busier today, and while members of the Faenza squad's race team continued with their programme during the second day of the FIA Formula One test at Monza, another group launched into a two-day...
Minardi Cosworth's busy September schedule became even busier today, and while members of the Faenza squad's race team continued with their programme during the second day of the FIA Formula One test at Monza, another group launched into a two-day session at the Vallelunga Circuit, near Rome.
Driving at Vallelunga today, and having his first taste of the current Minardi Cosworth PS04B, was Russia's Sergey Zlobin. The Moscow-based driver last drove a Minardi in November 2002, and now, with the support of the SMP Commercial Bank, he will take part in a further test programme with the team over the next four months.
Zlobin spent much of today becoming familiar with the controls of the Minardi Cosworth and re-acquainting himself with Formula One performance. In the course of the morning and afternoon sessions, he covered 226 km and registered a creditable fastest lap of 1 min 06.850 secs.
Portugal's Tiago Monteiro will embark on his first test with the team tomorrow, while Sergey Zlobin is provisionally scheduled to continue his programme with Minardi at Misano's Autodromo Santamonica, from November 24 to 26.
"It is almost two years since I last drove a Minardi F1 car, and to my surprise, I arrived at Vallelunga to find a team that looks younger, rather than older, compared with the last time we worked together. I'm not sure what has changed, but I also found it easier to understand what the engineers were telling me on this occasion and to learn from their comments. For sure, if the situation continues like this, I will be able to get some good results."
"I'm happy with my performance today, even if the weather was a little too hot for my liking. I don't feel physically tired from driving, but the heat is very draining. The next time we test, it should be cooler, which will make life a bit easier. I would like to thank the team, and in particular, Gian Carlo Minardi, for their assistance in organising this test programme."
Gian Carlo Minardi:
"The team is very satisfied with today's test here in Vallelunga. Considering the track is quite technical and includes two chicanes, and that Sergey has not driven a Formula One car in two years, his lap time was very good, and certainly better than we anticipated. This was a good result, and we are pleased with the driver's progress."
Laps: 70/226 kms
Best time: 1 min 06.850 secs