Wilson gets his first taste of new car

Justin Wilson got his first taste of a 2003-spec Formula 1 car today when he took over testing duties from Minardi team-mate Jos Verstappen with the new Minardi-Cosworth PS03 at Fiorano. The Englishman completed 32 laps before his day was curtailed by a gearbox problem

Wilson gets his first taste of new car

"I am very happy with the way the new PS03 feels so far," said Wilson. "I got in some decent mileage this morning and am very pleased at the way things are going.

"We made some small improvements with the performance of the car compared with yesterday. I am keen to get in as much track time as possible, and I'm happy with the start we have made."

The team will continue to shakedown the car in another test next week before packing up and heading for Melbourne. "Overall, we're very pleased with the performance of both the new car and the Cosworth engine," said team boss Paul Stoddart. "Justin and Jos independently expressed the view that the Minardi PS03 has considerable potential.

"We've had a couple of technical issues arise in the course of this session at Fiorano, but that's why teams go testing. Justin was able to familiarise himself with the car today, and like Jos on Wednesday, set an impressive time in the process.

"It would be foolish to draw any overly optimistic conclusions at this stage, but on the basis of this first test, the signs appear to bode well for the start of the season. The team will now return to Faenza, study the data gathered over the past two day, address the technical matters that arose, and aim to test again in a few days."

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