Yoong looking for support

Minardi's Alex Yoong is hoping for support from his homeland when he races in the Malaysian Grand Prix this coming weekend. At the Australian Grand Prix Mark Webber had huge support from the crowd as their only Australian driver raced home to...

Minardi's Alex Yoong is hoping for support from his homeland when he races in the Malaysian Grand Prix this coming weekend. At the Australian Grand Prix Mark Webber had huge support from the crowd as their only Australian driver raced home to fifth place; with Minardi boss Paul Stoddart also being Australian it was an even more riotous celebration.

"Mark had fantastic support,' Yoong said. "Although Minardi is a small team, the Australians were backing him all the way. Even if he did not finish the race, they would have given him good support."

Yoong has faced some harsh criticism from certain F1 figures, who claim that he is nothing but a 'pay driver'. There have been a few drivers who have been labeled as such in the past -- a reference that implies drivers obtained a race seat due to their large sponsorship rather than their skills behind the wheel. Yoong thinks people should give support for small teams rather than criticism.

"I am sad that the attitudes are negative," he commented. "We (Minardi) may have a real bad week or it may be easier for us to have a bad week. But rather than giving us a chance, there are people who think I am being an embarrassment. They should support instead of making negative remarks all the time. Whether there is success or not, I am going 100% in each race. I want to get better and better."

The Malaysian Grand Prix will be Yoong's fifth race in F1 and his first in front of his home crowd. In 2001 he competed in the last three races with Minardi and in this season's opener in Australia where he finished seventh.

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