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I think whether Minardi can beat Jordan will boil down to who has the better car.
I've got serious reservations about Minardi's drivers. Don't expect Albers to set the world alight.
As for the car, its going to be Tilley's first effort and there's no romm for any more of the basic conceptual errors we saw in 2003 and 2004.
Conceptuals errors of 2003 and 2004... um, the concept of using the PS02 again and again was an error. :P
"Minardi's new car will be 'ultra-radical'
The PS05 tipped to feature radical aerodynamic design. By Jonathan Noble
The new Minardi will be very different to last year's PS04
Paul Stoddart has high hopes for the new car
Minardi's 2005 challenger is set to feature an ultra-radical aerodynamic design, autosport.com can exclusively reveal, after team boss Paul Stoddart promised it would be unlike any other car on the grid.
The team has yet to run the car on the track, as it gears up to start the new season with its 2004 machine, but the design of the PS05 is understood to feature a vastly different nose area and a completely unique engine cover concept.
Although the exact design of the engine cover is not known, sources claim it may be sculpted in such a way to create extra surface area for downforce-inducing winglets. One team insider claimed that the solution is such that it leaves almost no room on the engine cover for visible sponsors' logos.
Speaking exclusively to autosport.com about his plans for the 2005 season, Stoddart admitted that he was genuinely excited about the car – even though he was keeping the exact secrets of the car close to his chest before it makes its public debut.
“Our preparations are going really well,” he said. “The new car is due to be ready in time to be racing at Imola and it will be a radical change. You haven't seen a Minardi that looks like this, I can tell you.
“It is vastly different to anything we have done before – and you will struggle to find anything in F1 that is the same.”
You haven't seen a Minardi that looks like this, I can tell you
Although Stoddart is under no illusions that the new car will be good enough to lift his team into the fight for regular points, he is confident that it will allow his team to put Jordan under pressure – and score points when luck is on its side.
“I am pretty confident that we can give Jordan a good run for their money,” he explained. “We will have 16 races with the new car and the new engine to try and get something – but we have to be realistic that if the front guys do their job and have reliability then we are not going to get a point.
“We've got a good solid driver line-up, the car will be for us, in our quiet modest way, mega from Imola on – and I think one of the biggest things is that Minardi has never had the opportunity to run with the same spec engine as another team. There is no A and B-spec Cosworth this year, there is just the A-spec, so for us that is a big plus.
“If you combine all of this together then it might mean on the right day, and I mean on the right day, then we can score points.”
Minardi will debut the new car at the San Marino Grand Prix, with the team planning to use its 2004 PS04 for the first three races
I think the key factor is drivers - if we had an Alonso on our hands, we could be predicting a humiliation of Red Bull, let alone Jordan, but it's down to Albers. If he hasn't got the right stuff (not saying he hasn't, just don't know yet), we'll be embarrassed. Karthikeyan and Monteiro are not the no hopers some have claimed, but they'll be rookies in a difficult and outdated car, run by a team already looking to 2006. We should be wiping the floor with them - which we need to do to generate some progress commercially.
[Edited on 5/2/2005 by Clown]
But let's wait til the PS05 proves fast before we get carried away, but I'm sure it will be good. A Minardi fan needs to be capable of blind optimism when required, no?
Put that together with very different sidepods and it makes me think that we are risking a lot on this new chassis.
I suppose we can't go backwards.
I'm glad the boys have had time in the windtunnel. They deserve that for all their hard work over the past few years.
Are you going to tell us anything new as well?
I doubt whether Minardi have the capability to do anything radiacal on design thats likely to work.
If the thing is a lemon, who are we going to rely on to sort it out. The driver's are novices so how much can we rely on their input? Really we need Ryton back at the design helm.
We live in hope, but if Jordan's 05 challenger is 2s a lap faster than the interim 04 car the games over. I doubt whether they'll find 2.5s with the 05 car
Logic will always dictate that Minardi should be last. Well, if everything's quite so hopeless, why do we bother? Because there is something special about Minardi, that's why, even if most years the forces of darkness conspire to snuff it out. C'mon, admit it, that's what we all feel, isn't it? Manifest destiny, the power of passion, the inevitability of eventual victory? Logic got nothing to do with it.
You have to start from the assumption that our glorious Minardi team will do at least a basic competent job, even in the current withered state. If you start from the assumption that the team is too crap to do even that, then let's give it all up, shall we, and go and cheer on Sauber with their fancy windtunnel, or... or....TOIT.
There's evidence enough that giving Jordan a kicking is a possibility this year, even if most of it is based on the mess the opposition is in. Plenty of time for suicidal depression later, if required.
The PS02 was a competent chassis, that has become a bit of a Frankenstein Monster.
It sounds like all (most) of last year's wind tunnel time was occupied with the new car. (given the lack of progress last year).
I think most, if not all of Jordan's advantage last year was down to a substantial engine perforance advantage. (our engine was 3 years old and detuned), and the fact that Quick Nick was Eddies single best 2004 decision.
I think the 2005 Jordan might find itself with Frankenstein complex of it's own this year, especially with two rookies.
I think it's also important to remember that our cars have not gotten slower, despite everything. A lot must have been learnt in that process, which can hopefully be appied to the PS05. Other teams have (abet with lots of $$) made radial leaps from the back of grid (Renault & BAR, most recently).
It looks Like of the PS05 is going to be a radical gamble. Our guys have the advantage of examining other successful solutions, which may allow us to skip a few evolutionary phases, and may enable us to recover relatively more downforce than other teams. Especially if the ongoing evolution of the PS02-4 has provided us with a few tweaks no one else has been looking for (again I say, it has gotten faster. just not fast enough).
We also need to follow Sauber's example of last year, stuff qualifying, find a race solution, score points. In someways our persistant engine changes last year indicate that somone was thinking along those lines.
There seems very little chance that the PS04 is going to do much of everything in the first three races, we have a couple of options.
Treat the races like a test session, or
Have the PS04 and the old Cosworth go out with a bang, up the revs, keep the fuel low, blow it up if you have to, but capture some airtime.
But I'm not sure that exploding engines will encourage new sponsers :o
I just think we need to play a different game for the first three races. They're not in the championship for us. Even if we just make it obvious that we're treating it like a test session, it'll grab us some attention, and hack Ron Dennis off.
This years engine has been paid for by Ford, and RBshit have already made mutterings about an alternative engine supply.
Cosworth is not going to invest money in development for a single customer (for the sort of money they'll want we might as well build our own).
Of course if the radical PS05 kicks serious butt, that situation might change.
I think we'll find ourselves with Toyo or Renault engines in 2007, assuming Toyota doesn't pull the plug. Thou if we're allowed to run old Renault chassis....