Among the oval-racing fraternity, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is particularly notable for the fact that a change in the track temperature of just a very few degrees can make a significant difference to the amount of grip available. The same ...
Among the oval-racing fraternity, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is particularly notable for the fact that a change in the track temperature of just a very few degrees can make a significant difference to the amount of grip available. The same appears to apply to the Speedway's road circuit, site of tomorrow's United States Grand Prix.
Wilux Minardi Cosworth drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner both set commendable times in this morning's third and fourth practice sessions, having developed a good chassis balance for their cars. With the ambient temperature rising noticeably as the afternoon's all-important qualifying runs approached, however, track conditions changed and both men found their cars had developed marked oversteer once they were on track.
As a result, neither driver was able to match his best time from the morning sessions in qualifying, Bruni and Baumgartner eventually setting the 18th and 19th fastest times respectively.
"This morning, in the first practice session, we got a good balance in the car, but then in the final session, the car developed a lot of oversteer, possibly because the track temperature went up quite a bit, affecting the grip. In my qualifying run, the first sector was not bad, but then I struggled with traction on the infield section. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow, as we are reasonably close to our nearest rivals in terms of lap times. It should be interesting."
"My best time this morning was good, and it's just a shame I couldn't repeat it this afternoon in qualifying. I made a couple of mistakes on the final run and the car also developed quite a bit of oversteer. I'd like to thank all the guys, who have put in a lot of effort this weekend. I think it's going to be a difficult race tomorrow, but I'll try to reward them with a good result."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Wilux Minardi Cosworth:
"Whilst we are not happy to be starting P18 and P19 in tomorrow's United States Grand Prix, overall, our performance today is as good as could be expected and our times respectable given the current circumstances. We now look forward to tomorrow's race, where our goal will clearly be to get two cars to the finish."
Best lap: 1 min 14.010 secs
Best lap: 1 min 14.812 secs