The Minardi F1 Team today commenced the final test of its 21-year history, at the Autodromo Vallelunga, near Rome. The Faenza squad passed into Red Bull ownership at the beginning of November, but this testing commitment, organised prior to the sale of the team, has been honoured in order to allow a number of young drivers to have their first experience of Formula One performance.
In addition to three Minardi Cosworth PS05 chassis, plus a pair of PS04Bs, present at Vallelunga, there will be four of the Ledbury-based F1x2 two-seaters running this week, providing passenger rides to representatives from a number of Minardi sponsors, technical partners and suppliers.
The driver line-up for the test includes Spaniard, Roldan Rodriguez, Juan Caceres from Uruguay, and Britain’s Katherine Legge, as well as two promising young Italian drivers, Luca Filippi and Davide Rigon, selected as part of a driver-search programme organised by the Italian autosport federation, the CSAI: In addition, official Minardi test driver, Chanoch Nissany, will complete his 2005 programme with the team in the course of the four-day event. Monday’s programme saw Nissany running throughout the day, with Rodriguez completing 20 laps in the morning, and Filippi a similar number in the afternoon session.
The F1x2 cars will be driven by 2005 Minardi drivers Christijan Albers, Robert Doornbos and Patrick Friesacher, plus Gianni Morbidelli, Matteo Bobbi and Gabriele Lancieri. The provisional schedule is as follows:
Monday, November 21
Tuesday, November 22
Wednesday, November 23
Thursday, November 24
Minardi F1 Team