Double blow for Minardi

Following its best qualifying performance of the year in Spa yesterday, Minardi endured one of its most unlucky grands prix on record in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, with both cars crashing out in unusual circumstances

Double blow for Minardi

Gianmaria Bruni was punted by his own team-mate, Zsolt Baumgartner, in the aftermath of Takuma Sato's lurid spin at the top of Eau Rouge on the opening lap. He was then hit by Jordan's Giorgio Pantano, causing the Minardi to briefly catch fire. Baumgartner would later crash out himself when hit by Jenson Button's spinning BAR.

"This was another case of the team deserving a better result than it actually achieved, especially as this was clearly Minardi's best-performing weekend of the year," rued team chief Paul Stoddart. "To be involved in someone else's accident on the first lap, which eliminated Gimmi, and then for Zsolt to be the victim of what looks like a tyre blow-out on Jenson's car and taken out of the race, it's just really a sad way to finish the day."

Bruni said: "I made a very good start, was able to pass lots of cars, and was 14th going through Eau Rouge. Then Sato spun, and as he was coming back on the circuit, I lifted off a little and my team-mate hit me from behind. That knocked me into the barrier and ended my race. It was a very unfortunate incident."

Baumgartner added: "We had a very good race and were consistently quicker than the Jordans. I was really unlucky with the situation that developed with Button when he was right next to me and his tyre exploded, but it happened. I could not have done more today."

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