Minardi Asiatech today commenced an important test at the Monza circuit, near Milan, as part of its preparations for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix, final European event of the 2002 Formula One calendar. The Faenza team's Belgian test driver, David Saelens, was behind the wheel of the single KL Minardi Asiatech PS02 chassis allocated to the test for the rain-delayed opening day of the four-day session.

Alex Yoong is scheduled to be in the car on Wednesday, Mark Webber on Thursday, and Yoong again on Friday. The purpose of the test is to carry out chassis set-up work and software development relevant to the demands of the high-speed Italian track, as well as to give Yoong, who was rested for the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix, an opportunity to re-acclimatise to his car prior to the final three Formula One races of the year.


"I enjoyed a very good day of testing with no mistakes, despite the poor weather conditions. For me, it has not been easy to drive an F1 car for the first time in very wet track conditions on one of the fastest F1 circuits, where speeds are above 330 kmh. It was definitely quite challenging! I became more confident with the car, though, as the day progressed and was able to build up my speed while helping the engineers with their work."

"As a result, I am pretty happy with what we have done. The difficulty is, once you get the taste of Formula One, you always want more, so I hope I can do further test work in the future. I really like the technical side of F1, and I also enjoy working with the team. I'd like to thank Paul (Stoddart) for giving me the chance to take part in this test."

GREG WHEELER, Race Engineer

"It was a very constructive day for us. We tried a lot of new things and we think we have made good progress with the car. David was consistent, never made any mistakes, and gave us good feedback. It's been a big problem for us not being able to test much this season, so today we took full advantage of the opportunity. We definitely think we can make the car quicker, and are looking forward to Monza, for sure."