San Marino GP: Minardi Friday practice notes

Wilux Minardi Cosworth today used the occasion of a "home" race weekend and the first European round of the 2004 Formula One World Championship season to assess a range of new components resulting from its recent wind tunnel programme. In...

Wilux Minardi Cosworth today used the occasion of a "home" race weekend and the first European round of the 2004 Formula One World Championship season to assess a range of new components resulting from its recent wind tunnel programme.

In addition to the normal Friday technical programme that generally focuses on chassis balance, software assessment and tyre evaluation, Gianmaria Bruni, Zsolt Baumgartner and Bas Leinders also sampled the revised aerodynamic package, all three drivers reporting that it shows considerable promise.

As usual, the team will now study the data collected during today's two practice sessions and work on making further improvements overnight, aiming particularly at optimising chassis performance over the curbs, which are a major feature of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

Gianmaria Bruni:

"We have done well in general terms today, but I was not so happy that I was stuck in traffic on what should have been my fastest lap this afternoon. If not for that, we would have been half-a-second quicker. We had new parts from the team's wind tunnel programme to try today and it's clear everyone on the team is pushing really hard at the moment. I am very happy about that, and I want to thank the guys for all their hard work. Hopefully, we will make more progress tomorrow."

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"I was struggling a bit this morning, but the situation improved in the second session. The guys have done an amazing job to turn the results of our recent wind tunnel programme into new parts so quickly. Some pieces were still being manufactured at the factory this morning and were then brought to the circuit during the lunch break and fitted to the car. The whole aero package has been really well done, and now we just need to work on finding a good chassis balance for this track. Even though we are not quite there yet, I'm happy that I finished with a time very close to Gimmi's this afternoon. We'll definitely make more progress tomorrow.

Bas Leinders, test driver:

"Personally, I'm very happy with the developments on the car in the last two weeks. We had a lot of new parts to test today and I think it is clear we are making progress. The team seems very motivated to catch its nearest rivals and that is making for a good atmosphere. We will now put together all the information we have learned from running the three cars today and aim to make further progress tomorrow."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:

"Today saw all three Minardi drivers complete their full quota of laps, and as this weekend marks the start of the European F1 season as well as a 'home' race for Minardi, we are very pleased by some encouraging progress, particularly with our new aero package, which we are trying for the first time at this event."

"All three drivers were running slightly different programmes today, but overall, we're encouraged for Saturday's all-important qualifying session. It was also interesting to see today that one of the front-running teams has adopted vertical slotted rear wing end plates -- an aero innovation that Minardi introduced at the beginning of this season."

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Spare: PS04B/04
Position: 22nd
Best lap: 1 min 25.653 secs

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Position: 23rd
Best lap: 1 min 25.760 secs

BAS LEINDERS
Chassis: PS04B/04
Position: 24th
Best lap: 1 min 27.025 secs

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni , Paul Stoddart , Zsolt Baumgartner , Bas Leinders
Teams Ferrari , Minardi