Following this afternoon's qualifying session, it seems clear that the "new" Hockenheim is both a technically challenging and a highly changeable track in terms of available grip levels. KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong both...
Following this afternoon's qualifying session, it seems clear that the "new" Hockenheim is both a technically challenging and a highly changeable track in terms of available grip levels. KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong both worked hard with their engineers in Saturday's two morning practice sessions to achieve a satisfactory balance for their chassis, although Yoong's progress was slowed by a problem with a hydraulic connector in the second of the two sessions. Webber felt he extracted close to the maximum possible performance from his car on his penultimate qualifying run, while his team mate's fastest lap of 1 min 19.775 secs fell less than two-tenths of a second outside the 107 per cent qualifying threshold, meaning he will not be allowed to start tomorrow's race.
"We maximised everything we could today. It would have been nice to have completed that last run this afternoon, but the traffic meant there was no way we were going to improve. It's the same for everybody, though - you get four runs in qualifying. On the positive side, the car ran very reliably, we put in a lot of laps, and the guys did a good job. This has proved to be a tough circuit for us, but now we'll just concentrate on our preparations for tomorrow's race."
"It's been a hugely disappointing day, as this is not a circuit I expected qualifying to be an issue, especially after yesterday went so well. We were quick without even trying then on old tyres. Unfortunately, in the morning session today, we didn't get the chance to use new tyres because we had a hydraulic problem, so the first time I used new tyres was in the qualifying session. To be frank, I'm as puzzled as everyone else why we were so slow today. I'm obviously very disappointed at the moment, not just for myself, but for the whole team, who did a very good job and put in a lot of hard work."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"Today hasn't been the best of days for the KL Minardi Asiatech team. It's disappointing to see Alex fail to qualify by such a slender margin. As is often observed, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it seems clear that if Alex had been on the Prime tyre rather than the Option today, he would have qualified. His situation also wasn't helped when he lost valuable track time this morning with a technical problem. We'll just have to make the most of having only one car in the race tomorrow and hope that Mark can repeat his amazing performance in France here in Germany."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
The Asiatech engines' reliable performance continued during today's practice and qualifying.
Chassis: PS02/04 (No 23)
Fastest lap: 1 min 17.996 secs
Chassis: PS02/03 (No 22)
Position: 22 (DNQ)
Fastest lap: 1 min 19.775 secs