It turned out to be the same story at the Circuit de Catalunya today for European Minardi Cosworth as it did yesterday. Despite drivers Justin Wilson and Jos Verstappen making useful progress fine-tuning the handling of their cars during the...
It turned out to be the same story at the Circuit de Catalunya today for European Minardi Cosworth as it did yesterday. Despite drivers Justin Wilson and Jos Verstappen making useful progress fine-tuning the handling of their cars during the morning practice session, it did not translate into improved grid positions for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.
In fact, Verstappen and Wilson both set better lap times in the 15-minute warm-up session before final qualifying began than they were able to achieve in the qualifying session itself, possibly the result of a stiffening afternoon breeze blowing down the long straight of this challenging, 4.730-km track. On the positive side, good progress has been made with developing a suitable chassis set-up for the race.
Combined with the excellent reliability displayed so far this weekend by both European Minardi Cosworth entries, the team feels it has good reason to hope for a strong two-car finish in tomorrow's Grand Prix.
"I was quite fired up for that one after yesterday. It was a pretty clean lap, although I did catch the edge of the curb at Turn 6 in the middle sector, which cost me a little bit. I think we were close to extracting the most we could from the car, and generally, I wasn't unhappy with the run. The main goal now is to get the best start possible in the race tomorrow and then get to the finish."
"Disappointingly, we ran slower on the qualifying lap than in the warm-up session 15 minutes before, and that was despite pushing harder. We made a small change to the front wing before the qualifying run just to try to improve the chassis balance, but if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have done that. We were again very close to the limit today, and in that situation, it's difficult to find more time in the car - I made a little mistake at Turn 4, which maybe cost me a tenth of a second, but that was about it."
"As for the race tomorrow, hopefully, it will rain, as that would suit us. This is a track that is known to be hard on tyres, so there may a lot of pit stops tomorrow. We will just have to see how things develop and hope for some good luck."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, European Minardi Cosworth:
"Finishing P18 and P19 is perhaps the best we could expect today. Both Justin and Jos drove faultlessly all day, though, and hopefully the reliability we've enjoyed throughout the weekend will continue through the race in order to let us record a two-car finish tomorrow."
Chassis: PS03/03 (No 18)
Best lap 1 min 22.104 secs
Chassis: PS03/01 (No 19)
Best lap 1 min 22.237 secs