WET FRIDAY MEANT LESS DRY RUNNING FOR YOONG As he ran out of time to get down to a 107% qualifying time Imola, Italy - Saturday, 13th Apr 2002 - When on qualifying day, the rain stayed away, it turned the day into a big struggle for KL ...
WET FRIDAY MEANT LESS DRY RUNNING FOR YOONG As he ran out of time to get down to a 107% qualifying time
Imola, Italy - Saturday, 13th Apr 2002 - When on qualifying day, the rain stayed away, it turned the day into a big struggle for KL Minardi Asiatech Malaysian driver, Alex Yoong, at this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, Italy. The wet Friday practices was Yoong's first visit to the Imola circuit and had it remained wet for Saturday's qualifying, Yoong's practices on wet Friday would have been useful to the Malaysian.
But as it were Yoong struggled to find the right set up for his car when the sun came out today, had to contend with a recurring brake balance problem and he admitted that he also badly needed more time in the dry to get to grips with the circuit as well.
"For me, Saturday's dry practices before qualifying was like my first visit to the track as Friday was spent finding the right set up for a wet track. Although I was improving with more laps, there just wasn't enough time for me to get the down to the right set up for my car as well as to get to grips with the circuit. This circuit places a huge emphasis in finding the optimum braking points and I wasn't able to do that. I am completely disappointed for myself and the whole team which had worked so hard for us all weekend." said Yoong.
He added that "I will just have to put this behind me and not let it affect my determination to succeed at this level. This is a very tough call but I will work even harder to improve my performance. I am very happy for Mark who had qualified 19th and I hope for a good result for the team tomorrow."
Yoong had improved his morning's practice time of 1m 28.993s to 1m 27.241s in qualifying but it proved to be not enough to get him on the grid as he missed the 107% mark by 0.474 second.
Yoong's manager, Simon Munger had this to say in respect of today's qualifying, "Alex would learn from today that he has to chase the times in every outing on the track in order to not be left behind. In fairness to him, Friday was of no use to him and today's two 45 minute sessions had proved to be inadequate for him to get down to a performance he is capable of and this is to qualify for every race. I am confident that he'll bounce back from today's set back."
Meanwhile KL Minardi Asiatech's team principal, Paul Stoddart described his feelings for Webber's remarkable performance and down played Yoong's set back when he was quoted to say, "That was a fantastic qualifying performance from Mark, particularly considering he had to use the spare car for his last two runs, which had Alex's settings on it at the beginning of the session. We really feel sorry for Alex, especially when you consider that in the last two races he has been within half a second of Mark in qualifying. Alex's car had a brake balance problem today, and the 2.5 second gap between him and his team mate in today's qualifying in no way reflects his true ability."