Monaco GP: Minardi Thursday notes

OH, HE DOES LOVE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE It was a case of "expletives deleted" for KL Minardi Asiatech driver, Mark Webber, when he returned to the team's garage after his penultimate run in the second of today's two one-hour practice sessions...

OH, HE DOES LOVE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE

It was a case of "expletives deleted" for KL Minardi Asiatech driver, Mark Webber, when he returned to the team's garage after his penultimate run in the second of today's two one-hour practice sessions for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix and was informed he had just set the sixth fastest time of the day. The young Australian was eventually displaced to eighth by the end of practice, but there was no doubt he fully deserved his top-10 position today. Webber ran strongly in Monaco throughout Thursday, storming round the famous Principality's unforgiving street circuit with great confidence despite his 'rookie' status.

Team mate, Alex Yoong, made a solid start in the first session, but then fell foul of Monaco's unyielding barriers early in the afternoon, his damaged car coming to rest against the barriers at the Rascasse corner. The Malaysian suffered a slightly bruised hand in the impact, but both he and his car will be fully ready for Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions.

MARK WEBBER

"We had a really good day today. We had two strong sessions with no problems. We had quite a bit of fuel in for the first session just to get a feeling for a heavier car. Then we decided to run with a little bit less fuel in the second session to get a feeling for qualifying trim. We still have some fuel to take out, which is nice, but also Michelin have done a really good job by the looks of it, as well."

"I like driving on this track and the engineering guys and the mechanics did a good job, so we're really satisfied with today. If we can do something like this in terms of a trouble-free run on Saturday, I would say we could have maybe our best performance in qualifying here. Obviously, we'll have to see what happens. It's likely to be a different story Saturday, but I hope we can still do well."

ALEX YOONG

"I really like Monaco and we had a good start with a productive session this morning. Unfortunately, early in the second session, I was trying a little bit different line and the car just got away under braking. It was unfortunate, because I really want to make maximum use of the track time available here. I'll just have to redouble my efforts on Saturday and make up for the lost time."

PAUL STODDART, Team Principal

"It's extremely pleasing to have had our best practice session to date, particularly since it is at Monaco, which is one of the most demanding circuits on which we race. Having won the Formula 3000 race here last year, Mark clearly demonstrated his love of the Monaco circuit today and was justly rewarded by recording the eighth fastest time of the day, after having been sixth quickest for a considerable time."

"I'm sure Alex would also have had a good result this afternoon, as he was making good progress this morning. Unfortunately, he had a brush with the notorious Monaco barriers this afternoon and was sidelined for the remainder of the session. Our thanks go to Michelin for delivering a brilliant tyre for this race, and we now look forward to a very positive outcome to the weekend. For KL Minardi Asiatech, today's result is made even sweeter by the outcome of the High Court case in London yesterday involving Phoenix Finance. The judgment totally vindicates what has been our view on the matter from the outset."

THE ASIATECH VIEW

This has been a problem-free day for Asiatech. Its engineers have every reason to be satisfied with their work, rewarded by an electrifying lap from Mark Webber to give him eighth place overall.


Mark Webber
Position: 8th
Fastest lap: 1 min 20.028 secs


Alex Yoong
Position: 22nd
Fastest lap: 1 min 26.518 secs

-minardi-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mark Webber , Alex Yoong
Teams Minardi