Kiesa gets first taste of F1

New European Minardi driver Nicolas Kiesa had his first run for the Faenza-based team yesterday (Friday), completing some 200 miles at Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

Kiesa gets first taste of F1

The test was simply to allow the 22-year-old Danish driver to familiarise himself with the Cosworth-powered European Minardi PS03 and its systems, while completing the necessary number of laps at racing speed to allow him to qualify for his FIA Superlicense in advance of his official debut next week in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

"The first impression I had was on the installation lap, when I could feel that the car was very powerful," said Kiesa, who is stepping up from the Super Nova International Formula 3000 team. "I hardly touched the throttle, and the performance was amazing. The biggest surprise today was undoubtedly the brakes, which were incredibly strong in their response. Once you get to know how to use them, though, they're reasonably easy to work with.

"I tended to use the 100-meter board as the main reference point, and then adjusted my braking accordingly. The speed you can carry in the corners is also very impressive compared with an F3000 car. In all honesty, I was quite surprised that I was physically able to do the full 300km today without any problems.

"After the first 200km this morning, I had a slightly sore neck, but having finished the full distance, I now feel much better than this morning and could easily go on driving. It has been a really great experience, and I can't wait for Hockenheim next weekend."

Minardi also gave its new test and reserve driver, Gianmaria Bruni, a brief shakedown run. He will take part in the two-hour test session on Friday morning at Hockenheim.

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