It took late nights, long hours and unremitting determination, but the pay-off for the Minardi F1 Team came at 1102hrs today, when the first of the Faenza squad's new Minardi Cosworth PS05 chassis, with Christijan Albers at the wheel, took to ...
It took late nights, long hours and unremitting determination, but the pay-off for the Minardi F1 Team came at 1102hrs today, when the first of the Faenza squad's new Minardi Cosworth PS05 chassis, with Christijan Albers at the wheel, took to Imola's Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari track for its initial Formula One practice session.
The car of Patrick Friesacher followed three minutes later, and both cars then ran without any major technical issues during the morning session. Unfortunately, Albers' car was sidelined in the afternoon after a wiring problem developed at the beginning of the session, but Friesacher continued at uninterrupted pace with his technical programme.
The team has much to learn about the behaviour of the latest Minardi, and many aspects of the car have yet to be optimised, but at the conclusion of today, both drivers had made quantifiable progress in terms of developing an appropriate chassis set-up to cope with the demands of the Imola circuit.
"In general, I'm happy with the work we've done today. We need to find more grip, improve the braking and increase the gearbox shift speed, but overall, we've had a positive day. Now we just need to work on the areas we've identified."
"There's clearly a lot of potential in the PS05, and I particularly want to thank the guys, who worked all night to get my car ready for today. You can see they are a little bit tired, and I would like to be able to give something back to them this weekend for all their work."
"It was a shame we couldn't get out in the second session, because we made quite a lot of changes to the car between the morning and afternoon sessions but weren't able to assess the effect they had. I'm particularly disappointed for the guys, who have just been working so hard."
"I think the source of this afternoon's problem will turn out to be relatively minor, though, and I have great confidence about the potential for the PS05. Now we just have to work on developing it, and fining a good set-up for this weekend."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth:
"After a productive first session that saw both cars run virtually faultlessly, the second session proved there is no substitute for testing. A wiring problem put paid to Christijan's session, and while Patrick got all but one of his planned runs in, today was clearly all about beginning to understand the new car."
"Overall, the whole team is really impressed with the PS05, which appears to have enormous potential. I'm proud of the job done by the whole team, but particularly the relentless effort by the mechanics to get the cars on track today. Well done!"
Best lap: 1 min 26.620 secs
Best lap: 1 min 27.353 secs (first session)