Minardi chose to launch its new car on Wednesday, just ahead of the season opener, while hardened driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, bore the brunt of a pair of TV pranksters.

Minardi launched the PS04B at Albert Park on Wednesday and also chose to announce a new team sponsor, Wilux Benelux.

At the launch, team boss Paul Stoddart said: "Despite all of the rumours and all of the politics, I'm proud of the fact that in 2004 Minardi is still here, fighting and still doing its best to uphold the honour of the independent teams."

Race drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner will be joined by testers Bas Leinders and Tiago Monteiro this season. The test positions were also confirmed on Wednesday.

The PS04B has been testing since February, when Baumgartner first took it on to the track at Misano in Italy.

In a more theatrical fashion, an Australian comedic pair really managed to rile McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya on Wednesday, when their antics caused the Columbian to storm out of a press conference.

Montoya was asked: "I have one question for Juan. Just a hypothetical one, Juan. As the wonder kid, the rising number one, Juan, one wonders should Juan only win once in one year, would Juan want to have won that one in round one, Juan?"

And while his response was a chirpy "One of them would have been in round one," he was less polite when the second, nonsensical question was posed. His response that time being a curt "No comment. Next."

Things then got out of hand when first one, and then the other "reporter" received calls to their cell phones and answered them in stage whispers.

Juan Pablo's response this time? "Right, either this stops, or I walk off." And he did, but not before one of the "reporters" asked whether he'd be free later for a round of golf with his mother.

Montoya had been scheduled to appear at an event organised by team sponsor Allianz, but the annoyed driver did not attend.

Original article from Car