Minardi-Ford Cosworth runs at Fiorano

The new Minardi-Ford Cosworth ran for the first time at Fiorano today with Jos Verstappen at the wheel. The new car was running on Bridgestone tyres but was without its 2003 livery as negotiations are still taking place over the sponsorship package.

"The new car is very different from the 2002 chassis," says Paul Stoddart. "This is mainly because we have had to fit in Justin Wilson who is taller than even Mark Webber was last year. Obviously we also have to fit the Cosworth engine into the back to replace the old Asiatech V10 s and so there has been a lot of work done in recent months. The car is completely new apart from the fact that the chassis has been reworked. It might have been simpler to build new chassis but we felt that like a number of other teams it was wiser to do that rather than spend more money to build completely new cars.

"We are very hopeful that the car will be good because the engine is very powerful and that if we have the money we need to compete we will be in a strong position because we have a good car, a good engine and two very good drivers. I don't know how we will compare with the other teams but we hope to beat some of them and show the world that Minardi may be small but it can do a good job. The engineering team in Faenza has done a good job to improve the performance of the car during the winter so there is a lot of optimism in the team."

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