The Williams team's testing plans suffered an early blow when Juan Pablo Montoya's all-new BMW engine burst into flames.
To make matters worse, the highly-rated Colombian suffered the indignity of parking his car on the Valencia circuit after a power steering failure crippled his car late in the day.
McLaren dominated today's testing in Spain with David Coulthard narrowly beating new team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to the fastest time of the day - and despite his problems, Montoya went third quickest.
Coulthard's 47 laps heralded a best time of one minute 13.353 seconds, with Raikkonen less than 0.2secs slower after setting the pace early in the day.
Minardi started their 2002 testing programme by giving Italian youngster Matteo Bobbi a chance to stake his claim for a race seat this season.
With Malaysia's Alex Yoong expected to be the Asiatech-engined team's number one driver, Bobbi faces a fight against Antonio Garcia, Mark Webber and Christijan Albers for the remaining seat.
However, the 23-year-old was almost two seconds slower than Yoong, who himself was almost three seconds slower than Jaguar's Eddie Irvine as the Minardis propped up the time sheets.
Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart said: "Matteo Bobbi completed a useful test session and, considering it was his first time out in the car, he did an incredible job. He will certainly have a bright future."
Jenson Button clocked the fourth quickest time of the day in his Renault ahead of last year's team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella and new colleague Jarno Trulli, who were fifth and sixth respectively.