Alex Yoong will make his Formula One debut at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza this weekend for the European Minardi team. The young Malaysian driver will be taking over the seat previously occupied by Brazilian driver Tarso Marques after greatly...
Alex Yoong will make his Formula One debut at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza this weekend for the European Minardi team. The young Malaysian driver will be taking over the seat previously occupied by Brazilian driver Tarso Marques after greatly impressing the small team in recent testing sessions. At present, most press reports are positive although a few may have their doubts about the 25-year-old's potential in the team. However this talented young man who has attracted Magnum sponsorship and the Malaysian government support for his European Minardi team is not letting the comments distract him from his job. He will be taking it all in his stride.
"Well I've been waiting for this moment for so long, that I've had ages to imagine how it's all going to turn out with the team, the media, sponsors etc,” he said. “ So far these have gone just as I imagined it would. Therefore I may look pretty chilled about the whole thing but I am very happy and looking forward to the weekend of course."
Through a strong mind and determined focus of his objectives, Alex has been able to drive less than competitive cars in other formulae over the last few seasons without complaints, making the most of what he's been given to gain the attention of those that count in the higher ranks, as Minardi have now done. Although they may be one of the smallest teams on the grid at the current time, Alex is extremely impressed with the way they work. Another test session at Mugello last week gave him the final opportunity to work with the team prior to the pressures experienced at a race weekend and he couldn’t sing their praises loud enough.
"The team has been great so far, and I can see how they do such a great job with so little money. The most exciting thing for me within the team is actually going to the team briefings. It is so intense. In the briefings there would be the two drivers, 4 engineers (2 per driver), two engine guys, one gearbox guy, 1 electronics guy, team manager, two head mechanics, and one car designer,” he said of his new team.“ For me I really enjoy the technical side and there is so much to learn. All these guy's are extremely intelligent and professional and it is so inspiring to see how they tackle the problems that arise. It's just how you would imagine a war room headquarters to be like with all the generals sitting around going through every little detail to ensure that they win the war."
Alex's attitude to giving his all as he aimed for the top was all the motivation needed and now his dream, and that of all Malaysians, is about to be realized as he makes the final preparations ahead of his debut race. With only hours until he will feel the first rush of practice, qualifying and the race, what does this new rookie expect….?
"I can imagine I would want to finish my first race and give a good account of myself but what I cannot imagine is how going out for qualifying and then the race is going to feel. I suppose it's going to be MAD, just MAD."