US GP: Minardi Friday practice notes

INDIANAPOLIS, USA, June 18, 2004 -- Wilux Minardi Cosworth today commenced preparations for the United States Grand Prix -- the second half of a North American Formula One double-header that saw the World Championship teams in Montréal last...

INDIANAPOLIS, USA, June 18, 2004 -- Wilux Minardi Cosworth today commenced preparations for the United States Grand Prix -- the second half of a North American Formula One double-header that saw the World Championship teams in Montréal last weekend for the Canadian Grand Prix. Competitors face a very different set of technical challenges at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course compared with the Canadian circuit, however, as it is necessary to find a chassis set-up that works both on the flat-out Speedway section of the track and on the tight "infield". As is the normal Friday procedure on race weekends, Minardi drivers, Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner, plus official tester, Bas Leinders, spent today's two one-hour practice sessions working on chassis set-up and tyre evaluation, concentrating particularly on finding a consistent chassis balance over longer runs. Bruni lost some time in the opening session after his car spun harmlessly and stopped on the circuit, and later was unable to make his final run of the day as the result of a hydraulic problem. Nonetheless, the team collected a useful amount of data, and looks forward to making further progress tomorrow.

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER
Best lap: 1 min 13.384 secs
Position: 18th

"We worked throughout the day on the balance, and finally got it on the last run, as the lap time reflects. I have never driven on this circuit before and at first it was difficult to find a rhythm, but then we made good progress this afternoon. I hope we can improve the race balance of the car still further tomorrow. We have done a good day's work and it is always nice to set a quick time at the end of the session."

BAS LEINDERS , Test Driver
Best lap: 1 min 14.409 secs
Position: 23rd

"I'm very happy today, both with the car and with my own performance. I had a very nice test programme today and was able to set some good times in both practice sessions. I would like to thank everyone on the team for a great job today."

GIANMARIA BRUNI
Best lap: 1 min 14.428 secs
Position: 24th

"It's a little disappointing that we couldn't do a low-fuel run in the end, as we weren't able to take full advantage of the work we did today. Unfortunately, we had a technical problem, which meant we weren't able to go out for the last run, when we should have set our fastest lap. We succeeded in improving the balance of the car, though, and were close to Jordan on lap times, so we will aim to make more progress tomorrow."

PAUL STODDART , Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth

"I was pleased with the performance of all three drivers, who did a solid job today, and was particularly impressed by Zsolt's fastest lap in his final run. This is traditionally a circuit where Minardi has gone well, so we look forward to tomorrow and what it will bring."

Chassis allocation -- 2004 United States GP

Bruni (No 20) - PS04B/02
Baumgartner (No 21) - PS04B/01
Spare car (Bruni) - PS04B/04 (driven by Bas Leinders in Official Practice sessions)

-minardi-

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