After the pleasure of seeing its cars record the 16th and 17th fastest times at the conclusion of Thursday's opening qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, European Minardi Cosworth today experienced something of a "reality check" during...
After the pleasure of seeing its cars record the 16th and 17th fastest times at the conclusion of Thursday's opening qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, European Minardi Cosworth today experienced something of a "reality check" during the second, and final, session. Drivers Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson slipped down the order slightly, to 18th and 19th places on the grid for tomorrow's event, their pace undoubtedly affected slightly by considerations related to the team's race strategy.
Once again, though, both cars ran with total reliability throughout the day, allowing the team to continue fine-tuning its PS03 chassis to the challenges of this most demanding of street circuits. The team was further encouraged by the news, announced earlier in the day, that commercial partners, Muermans Groep and Superfund, have joined Trust International in significantly increasing their financial support for European Minardi.
"That was a good lap with a heavy fuel load, so I think our position for the race tomorrow is not looking too bad. The strategy we are using compromised our performance a little today, but there should be a benefit in the race tomorrow. I think the engineers definitely made the right call on this. Anyway, I was very pleased with my qualifying lap, and hopefully, we will now have a good race tomorrow."
"The track was very slippery first thing this morning, but then got quicker and quicker as the day wore on. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a moment going through the swimming pool section on my qualifying run and hit the steering lock stops in both directions trying to correct the resulting slide. The car had understeered through there for most of the morning practice, so I was more aggressive with it in qualifying and used more curb, but the car just didn't like it. Anyway, what's done is done, and now we'll just have to see what happens tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, European Minardi Cosworth
"European Minardi Cosworth's final qualifying positions slipped lightly by comparison with yesterday. Nonetheless, we feel we are in good shape for tomorrow's race with the strategy we have chosen. Jos drove a great qualifying lap this afternoon, his experience and knowledge of Monaco obviously contributing to his impressive performance. Justin struggled a bit to get his car handling to his liking, and in the end, perhaps just pushed a bit too hard on his flying lap. Even so, he has done a tremendous job so far this weekend at what is undoubtedly the most mentally demanding circuit on the F1 calendar."
Chassis: PS03/03 (No 19)
Best lap 1 min 18.706 secs
Chassis: PS03/04 (No 18)
Best lap 1 min 20.063 secs