Monteiro in Action for Minardi at Vallelunga

Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro was back in Formula One action today when he tested for the Minardi team at the Vallelunga circuit.

Monteiro in Action for Minardi at Vallelunga

Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro was back in Formula One action today when he tested for the Minardi team at the Vallelunga circuit.

28-year old Monteiro took over from Russian Sergey Zlobin as Minardi continued with their programme at the Italian circuit. Monteiro worked on durability testing of new gearbox components, completing 46 laps.

He posted a quickest time of 1:03.750, over three seconds faster than what Zlobin had managed on Thursday.

"I'm very happy with today's test, which I think was extremely positive," said the Portuguese. "I haven't driven a Formula One car for two years and I was just a little bit anxious before we started, but then that first lap was really amazing. It seems like the engine is never going to stop pulling, and the acceleration and the braking are just incredible.

"You adjust quite quickly to the performance, however, and then you can start to focus on what you're doing. I was pleased to work with my engineer today, Graziano Michelacci, as he made it very easy to understand what he wanted me to get from the car during the test.

"We made a few changes, everything went in a good direction, and the lap times improved all the way through the morning, so I'm very pleased. I want to thank all the people from Minardi who were involved today â€" the team feels like a family and they made it easy for me to do my job."

Monteiro, who made his Formula One debut with the Renault team at the end of 2002, is provisionally scheduled to test again for Minardi in November.

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