YOONG SHINES IN AUSTRIA KL Minardi Asiatech made a promising start today to its preparations for Sunday's Grand Prix of Austria. Malaysia's Alex Yoong put in a particularly good performance, driving an impressive 52 laps in the course of...
YOONG SHINES IN AUSTRIA
KL Minardi Asiatech made a promising start today to its preparations for Sunday's Grand Prix of Austria. Malaysia's Alex Yoong put in a particularly good performance, driving an impressive 52 laps in the course of Friday's two one-hour sessions, and eventually recording the 20th-fastest lap of the afternoon. Times always tend to be closer than normal at the A1-Ring due to the relatively short lap length (4.326 km) of the Austrian circuit, but even so, Yoong's fastest lap of 1 min 12.564 secs, only two seconds shy of the best recorded on Friday, was impressive. Both Yoong and team mate, Mark Webber, completed their allocated programmes for the day, concentrating on honing chassis balance, fine-tuning software and comparing the tyre options available to them.
"It was a good free practice session today. We managed to get in a lot of laps, and the power-steering system we introduced in Barcelona has really helped the car, as far as I'm concerned. We got down to quite a decent time this afternoon, so we will now hope for a good, trouble-free qualifying session tomorrow."
"It hasn't been a bad day. We got through our programme well and with plenty of fuel in the car. We spent time trying to get a balance on both types of Michelin today, but it's just not happening at the moment. We'll get a bit more time tomorrow morning to fine-tune the set-up, though, and that should see the times improve. The track is in reasonable shape and cleaned up a lot as the day went on."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"It's been a fantastic day, and a great way to put the trials and tribulations of Spain well and truly behind us. Neither car skipped a beat, enabling each of the drivers to amass an impressive number of laps while working through Friday's normal technical programme. Alex deserves special praise for his efforts. On a day when virtually every driver had an off-course excursion of some description, Alex didn't put a foot wrong, steadily improved his lap times and provided good technical feedback to his engineers. His best lap of the afternoon, only two seconds off today's fastest time, set by Rubens Barrichello, was no less than his efforts deserved. Mark didn't quite get the handling of his car as he would have liked it, but still did his usual professional job and will undoubtedly improve his times tomorrow."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
The A1-Ring is among the toughest circuits on engines, which are under full load for more than 60 per cent of the lap. Asiatech is thus very encouraged by the performance of its engines, whose reliability enabled the KL Minardi Asiatech drivers to cover almost 100 laps between them without problems.
ALEX YOONG Position: 20th
Chassis: (No.22) PS02/03
Fastest lap: 1 min 12.564 secs
MARK WEBBER Position: 22nd
Chassis: (No.23) PS02/04
Fastest lap: 1 min 13.219 secs
PS02/01 - spare