The Minardi team left Monza after the first of two planned days of testing satisfied with progress made, both on the engineering side and by latest recruit Robert Doornbos, who enjoyed his first major outing with the team away from racing.

The Faenza minnow joined the major group test under way at the Autodromo Nazionale in order to gather important data ahead of next weekend's Italian Grand Prix, and have allocated a single PS05 between Doornbos and team-mate Christijan Albers. Having made good progress with the car since its introduction at Imola in April, the main purpose of the test was to work on developing a suitable set-up for Monza circuit, and assess several new aerodynamic components relevant to the high-speed venue.

"I think we've had a very good first day," team manager Massimo Rivola commented, "It is unbelievable to think they only arrived at Monza at 8pm yesterday, and we were able to go out on track with the car at 9am today. The guys did an amazing job to set up the garage completely overnight.

"We were able to complete many laps, with Robert driving at an extremely consistent pace, which is exactly what was required. As a result, we have acquired considerable useful aerodynamic and tyre data.

"We would like to thank Bridgestone for, once again, providing us with a good choice of tyres, which allowed us to make some excellent progress this afternoon, especially considering the fuel load and engine mode we were using. We were also impressed with Robert's physical condition at the end of a hard day's testing - it is clearly very good."

Doornbos started the day getting used to the Monza layout from the cockpit of an F1 car, having already visited for the F3000 finale in 2004, before beginning to establish a baseline set-up for next weekend's grand prix.

"I was really looking forward to spending a full day testing with the Minardi team, and was determined that we should get the best out of it," the young Dutchman said, "I think we have done just that, and it has also been useful for me personally, as I know the track pretty well now after 79 laps.

"I had the opportunity to work with the team in a different way from race weekends, when there is more pressure, and now we can sit down and have a good look at the data. I think we have developed a good set-up for the car, so thanks to all the guys. Everyone looks happy, and so am I."

 

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