Successful debut for new Minardi 18 Apr 2005
Minardis Christijan Albers completed a trouble-free first test with the teams new PS05 machine at Mugello on Friday. Albers clocked up over 200 kilometres in the car, which will make its maiden race appearance at this weekends San Marino Grand Prix.
"It was a good day, and I have to say, it was a terrific feeling to give the new car its first run, said Albers after setting a best time of 1m 26.530s. I would like to compliment the entire team. They did a great job to get the first PS05 chassis ready for today's test, and I was then able to cover a useful distance without any significant problems. I was also very happy with the performance of the Cosworth CR6 engine, which felt both powerful and responsive.
We now have to start working seriously on chassis set-up, and clearly, we have a great deal to learn about the car. This means Imola is likely to be quite a challenge for us, but there's huge motivation and enthusiasm within the team, and I know that we are going to make progress."
With the initial shakedown complete, Minardi still have to complete a second PS05 chassis ahead of the Imola race, but team director Gian Carlo Minardi was pleased with their progress so far.
"Today, I think we can truly say, 'well begun is half done', he said. It was wonderful to witness the new car leaving the factory this morning for its first test. The PS05 is yet again clear evidence of the fantastic skills of everyone on this team, and there is still a sense of overwhelming emotion on such occasions, even after so many years. I hope that what I have seen taking place here in recent days will represent just the starting point for major achievements that everyone at Minardi well deserves."
The dramatic-looking PS05 is Minardis first all-new car in three years and team principal Paul Stoddart was understandably keen to pay tribute to those behind it: "It was a proud day for everyone at Minardi, particularly the design team led by Technical Director, Gabriele Tredozi, when the first PS05 took to the track at Mugello this morning. It represented the culmination of an enormous effort by the entire Minardi team, and marks the true beginning of our 2005 season.
When one considers that the engine, gearbox, and entire chassis are new, and that so many systems are untried, the potential for teething problems was significant. The fact the car ran faultlessly, however, really sums up the efforts of the whole team - fantastic!
The PS05s next track appearance will be on Friday in first practice for the San Marino Grand Prix.