GREMLINS INVADE FRANCE KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong emerged from an incident-filled qualifying session for tomorrow's French Grand Prix in 18th and 19th places respectively. The day, however, was not without...
GREMLINS INVADE FRANCE
KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong emerged from an incident-filled qualifying session for tomorrow's French Grand Prix in 18th and 19th places respectively. The day, however, was not without its problems. Webber lost valuable track time in the first of the morning practice sessions when his car developed a hydraulic problem. This was rectified for the second session, but after an excellent initial run in qualifying, he was forced to abandon his car when it developed a fuel pressure problem. The Australian then switched to the team's spare chassis, but was unable to improve his lap time as the car was set up to a different specification from his race car. Yoong, who today celebrates his 26th birthday, struggled to arrive at an acceptable chassis balance for his car, but persevered and gave himself an excellent 'present' by qualifying in 19th position for tomorrow's race.
"All in all, it has been a frustrating day. I didn't get any timed laps in the first practice session this morning because of a small hydraulic problem. We recovered well in the second session, though, and collected some useful data. We then put everything on the car ready for qualifying. The first run of the afternoon worked well and we were happy in the knowledge that we had a good 'banker' in our back pocket. Unfortunately, on the 'in' lap from that run, a fuel pressure problem cropped up. I then did one run in the spare car, although it was to a different specification compared with the race car. That proved to be my last run, but we'll be back tomorrow!"
"My car was suffering from understeer throughout qualifying, and then a fuel delivery problem cost me time on the final two runs. On the positive side, it was good to get in lots of laps this morning. It also gave us the chance to experiment a bit with the car and, as a result, we learned one or two useful things. There's no doubt in my mind we could have been a lot quicker today, but ultimately I'm glad to have qualified and pleased to be in tomorrow's race."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"This has been a reasonable day's performance from the KL Minardi Asiatech team with our drivers in 18th and 19th positions for tomorrow's race. Mark suffered a mechanical problem with his race car during qualifying that forced him to use the spare car, which was not completely set up for him. After his second run, it was clear he wasn't going to be able to improve on his time, so rather than waste additional sets of tyres, we decided to save them for tomorrow's race. Alex steadily improved his performance on each of his qualifying runs and completed the session with a respectable time. The team now looks forward to tomorrow's French Grand Prix."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
"Asiatech is satisfied with the reliable performance of its engines in the very hot conditions prevailing on the Magny-Cours circuit."
Chassis PS02/04 (No 23)
Fastest lap: 1 min 14.800secs
Chassis PS02/03 (No 22)
Fastest lap: 1 min 16.798 secs