Minardi leaps forward

Minardi has escaped the clutches of its familiar back row starting spots in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix as Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner will start 17th and 18th respectively at Spa

Minardi leaps forward

Both Giorgio Pantano's Jordan and Ricardo Zonta's damaged Toyota, following a pre-qualifying off, fell pray to the F1 minnows, which led to jubilation in the Minardi camp.

"All weekend, the team has performed competitively against its nearest rivals," said Stoddart. "To finish today's qualifying session between the Jordans and ahead of a Toyota is proof of an excellent effort and a job well done by both drivers and all team members."

Bruni bounced back from a heavy crash in free practice at Raidillon this morning, while Baumgarter was six-tenths off his Italian team-mate's pace in the wet conditions.

"It was a pity that I wasn't able to drive for many laps this morning, as we weren't able to find the perfect chassis set-up," said Bruni. "The car felt a bit different in qualifying from the way it did this morning, and was not so easy to drive. If everything had been perfect, I think I could have qualified perhaps two positions farther up the grid. I have to say, though, the guys did a great job today, and I want to thank them for all their effort."

Baumgartner, who has already scored a point at Indianapolis this year, added: "It was a shame in the qualifying run, though, that I couldn't equal, or improve on, my previous lap time. Unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes in sectors two and three that cost me quite a bit of time. The car is good, though, and we hope tomorrow will be wet, as it will improve our chances of a good result."

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