In near-perfect weather conditions, European Minardi Cosworth today opened its account for the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix - the 61st running of Formula One's most glamorous event - in positive fashion. By the end of the first official qualifying ...
In near-perfect weather conditions, European Minardi Cosworth today opened its account for the 2003 Monaco Grand Prix - the 61st running of Formula One's most glamorous event - in positive fashion. By the end of the first official qualifying session, drivers Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson had set the 16th and 17th fastest laps of the afternoon, marking the Faenza squad's best qualifying performance so far this season.
Verstappen and Wilson spent a busy opening morning tuning the handling of their Minardi PS03 chassis for the twists and turns of this uniquely demanding street circuit, both Minardi entries resplendent in a striking, new, black and white livery. The team made good technical progress setting its cars up for this high-downforce track, aided by the excellent reliability of its Cosworth V10 engines. Preparations for the Monaco Grand Prix continue on Saturday.
"Obviously, it was more difficult in qualifying this afternoon than earlier today because of the track conditions. We only had one lap to work out how slippery the track was - and at relatively low speed to preserve the tyres for the qualifying lap - and that made it tough. As it turned out, the track was very slippery, and I had to use a different line in some corners compared with this morning. Even so, today we achieved our best qualifying positions to date, and that is good for the team and the sponsors. We'll see what happens on Saturday, as the track is likely to be different again, but hopefully, we can build on this for Sunday's race."
"Everything was fine for our first day of running at the circuit. I don't know if it was the changes we were making to the car or just that the track was getting quicker as the day wore on, but we seemed to improve with each run. The track was a bit slippery this afternoon, though, which definitely made the qualifying lap a bit entertaining. Generally, though, I've just been getting used to everything. I'm pleased with the way it's gone and that we've kept the car in one piece."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, European Minardi Cosworth:
"The European Minardi drivers can be proud of their achievement today, as they both put in faultless performances that culminated in them finishing 16th and 17th in the first qualifying session. The cars ran faultlessly, and Jos and Justin definitely got the most from their machinery. Hopefully, we can repeat this performance on Saturday, and then look forward to a challenging, and rewarding race on Sunday."
"On a related point, many people will have noticed the new livery on our cars this weekend. I'm particularly grateful to Michel Perridon of Trust, for his continuing support of the team. Sponsors such as Trust International are invaluable when you consider the massive budgets that many of our competitors have at their disposal."
Chassis: PS03/03 (No 19)
Best lap 1 min 19.421 secs
Chassis: PS03/04 (No 18)
Best lap 1 min 19.680 secs