San Marino GP: Minardi Saturday qualifying notes

It was a case of maximum effort and minimum return for Wilux Minardi Cosworth at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari today. The team's preparations for tomorrow's San Marino Grand Prix continued to progress according to plan during the morning's two...

It was a case of maximum effort and minimum return for Wilux Minardi Cosworth at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari today. The team's preparations for tomorrow's San Marino Grand Prix continued to progress according to plan during the morning's two 45-minute practice sessions.

Unfortunately, however, the second session ended on a low note when Zsolt Baumgartner lost his car over the curbs at Variante Alta on his final run of the morning and spun into the barriers. The resulting damage meant the young Hungarian had to switch to the team's spare car for official qualifying, but further bad luck ensued when his car again spun at Variante Alta, and he failed to record a time. Despite not being completely happy with the handling balance of his car, team mate, Gianmaria Bruni, pushed hard on his flying lap and qualified 17th.

Gianmaria Bruni:

"Unfortunately, we just weren't able to find a good balance for the car today, and on my flying lap, exiting the last corner, I hit the curb so hard that it knocked the steering wheel out of my hands and I accidentally hit the button for the pit-lane speed limiter. As a result, I lost over half-a-second before I could fix the problem. We'll run the new aero package tomorrow because we want to get some miles on it and develop a better understanding of how it works. It will be a tough race, but we'll see what we can do."

Zsolt Baumgartner:

"It has been quite a busy time for the team after the spin I had this morning. I have to thank the guys for the tremendous job they did changing over the spare car, which was set for Gimmi, during the lunch break. It felt different from my race car in the pre-qualifying run, but I just had to push hard for a time on the second run. Unfortunately, I made a mistake at the Variante Alta, but sometimes that happens when you are trying really hard. I am pleased, however, by the fact my first sector time on that lap was not bad. The goal is to have a consistent race tomorrow, as we did in Bahrain, and we'll just see what we can do."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:

"Sadly, this has been our worst qualifying performance of the year and not one of which we are proud. Zsolt spun on his final run and Gimmi accidentally engaged the pit-lane speed limiter when exiting the last corner of the circuit on his flying lap. The result is that both Minardi entries failed to demonstrate their potential. This will make tomorrow's race difficult, but it's another day, and we look forward to completing one of our home races."

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Chassis: PS04B/02 (No.20)
Best lap: 1 min 26.899 secs
Position: 17th

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Chassis: PS04B/01 (No.21)
Best lap: No time
Position: 18th

-minardi-

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