Austrian GP: Minardi race notes

NON-STOP ACTION IN AUSTRIA KL Minardi Asiatech emerged from today's incident-packed Grand Prix of Austria pleased with strong performances from both its drivers. Mark Webber claimed 12th place at the chequered flag after being assessed a ...

NON-STOP ACTION IN AUSTRIA

KL Minardi Asiatech emerged from today's incident-packed Grand Prix of Austria pleased with strong performances from both its drivers. Mark Webber claimed 12th place at the chequered flag after being assessed a drive-through penalty, when the team mistakenly believed he was racing several of the drivers behind him following the withdrawal of the Safety Car at the end of lap 36.

Alex Yoong, who climbed as high as 12th at one point, also performed solidly until an engine-related problem forced him to retire on lap 42. Both drivers were on one-stop strategies for fuel and tyres, and the deployment of the Safety Car on lap 28 for the serious accident involving Nick Heidfeld and Takuma Sato allowed Webber and Yoong to pit early in their respective pit stop 'windows' and take on sufficient fuel to complete the race. They were thus in an excellent position for their final stints, but ultimately were not able to take advantage of the situation.

MARK WEBBER

"It was really a frustrating race today. First of all, at the start, we had a problem getting the car off the line. I had to go to first (gear) again and pull away normally, so I was last away by miles. After that, everything was going well until the first Safety Car deployment. I had been up with (Eddie) Irvine and a group of cars in front, but when the Safety Car came out, I was behind Barrichello, and there was some confusion about our track position. After the second Safety Car incident, we thought we were fighting (Mika) Salo for position, but it wasn't the case. That's why I got a penalty. All told, a frustrating race, because I felt I drove well. In any event, we now look forward to Monaco."

ALEX YOONG

"We ran on the softer, Option tyre today, but didn't really have a chance to scrub them in as much as we would have liked. We had a lot of understeer for the first three laps and then oversteer as the run progressed. On the positive side, the car was running reliably until we had the engine problem, and I think we could have finished in a reasonably good position. It is always disappointing not to finish a race, but I'm now looking forward to Monaco."

PAUL STODDART, Team Principal

"In an action-packed Austrian Grand Prix, KL Minardi Asiatech experienced a day of mixed fortunes. Our first thoughts are for the wellbeing of Nick Heidfeld and Takuma Sato, and thankfully, we hear at this time that both of them are okay. The ensuing confusion played perfectly into Mark's one-stop strategy and the team genuinely believed he was fighting for a top-10 position. This appears, however, not to have been the case, as Mark received a drive-through penalty. We really feel for him, as he drove a fantastic race and fully deserved a better result today. Alex also drove a very solid race until his car stopped due to a mechanical failure. We now look forward to Formula One's most prestigious event of the year, the Monaco Grand Prix, in two weeks' time."

THE ASIATECH VIEW

Asiatech had its first engine failure of the 2002 Formula One World Championship today. We will carry out a full analysis back at the factory.


MARK WEBBER Position: 12th
Fastest lap: 1 min 11.819 secs
ALEX YOONG Position: DNF
Fastest lap: 1 min 14.441 secs


Chassis allocation
PS02/03 - Alex Yoong (No 22)
PS02/04 - Mark Webber
(No 23) PS02/01 - spare

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Alex Yoong
Teams Minardi