SLIPPERY BUSINESS In common with their rivals, KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong today found Austria's picturesque A1-Ring circuit decidedly lacking in grip compared with yesterday. This afternoon's qualifying session was ...
In common with their rivals, KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong today found Austria's picturesque A1-Ring circuit decidedly lacking in grip compared with yesterday. This afternoon's qualifying session was stopped at the halfway point while track crews attended to a substantial oil spill, but despite the resulting interruption in concentration, both drivers improved their lap times steadily, eventually qualifying in 21st and 22nd places respectively. Giving the team cause for optimism, both KL Minardi Asiatech entries have run with total reliability during the practice and qualifying sessions.
"I think it was quite a difficult session because everyone waited until the track cleaned up. I thought we might as well go out because we had only a small amount of running on the tyre we were going to use in qualifying. When we did go out, the track was very bad, plus we also had a number of balance changes to do with the new type of tyre. Then Jarno (Trulli) lost his engine and the session was stopped. When it restarted, there was only 20 minutes left, there was a lot of dirt on the track, and I just had to do the best time I could. We got a better balance, although still not perfect for qualifying, but at least I think we have the right tyre for the race tomorrow. We're not sure, but we think we're maybe in better shape than others. We'll see."
"I'm disappointed, as I felt we could have had a good result in qualifying today. The balance of the car was good, but the rear brakes were locking up at times, which destabilised the car going into corners. We're now going to make some changes and we expect the situation to be significantly improved for tomorrow."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"On a slippery track, P21 and P22 may not sound terribly exciting, but both drivers did a creditable job, given the circumstances. We now look forward to tomorrow's race. Who knows? Unexpected things have been known to happen when starting from those positions."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
This has been another problem-free day for the Asiatech engines, so we are looking forward to tomorrow's race.
ALEX YOONG Position: 22nd
Fastest lap: 1 min 12.336 ses
MARK WEBBER Position: 21st
Fastest lap: 1 min 11.388 secs