It was a day of contrasting fortunes for KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Anthony Davidson as the Faenza squad began its preparations for this Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. Weather often plays a major part in proceedings at the daunting...
It was a day of contrasting fortunes for KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Anthony Davidson as the Faenza squad began its preparations for this Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. Weather often plays a major part in proceedings at the daunting Spa circuit, near Liege, and today proved no exception, as foggy conditions delayed the opening practice session of the day by an hour and caused it to be reduced to 30 minutes.
New signing, Davidson, took up where he left off in his debut Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, two weeks ago, quickly settling in and registering competitive lap times. Despite the abbreviated opening session, he enjoyed a trouble-free day, making good progress fine-tuning the handling of his KL Minardi Asiatech PS02 and completing the important tyre evaluation runs.
By comparison, team mate Webber was on the receiving end of all the bad luck, losing time in the first session with a technical problem, and completing only four laps in the afternoon before difficulties with his car's gearshift electronics curtailed any further running. Both drivers single out Spa as one of their favourite racing circuits, however, and remain optimistic about their chances in Sunday's race.
"It has been a good session for me today, without any dramas. We worked on the car and made some good changes. I think I found the best tyre situation for us as well. At the moment, I think it's looking alright for tomorrow."
"It has really been a tough Friday for us, as we had a problem in the first session with the front of the car, which we solved, and then, in the second session, we had gearbox difficulties. I'm now looking forward to tomorrow in order to do some proper tyre runs and to complete our pre-qualifying technical programme. Hopefully, the weather will be dry in the morning because I had no track time today."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"A reasonably productive day for the KL Minardi Asiatech team saw Anthony able to show his true potential on a circuit at which he's driven before. It was also pleasing that he completed his full technical programme ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session. Mark, on the other hand, was not so lucky today, as in common with everyone else, he lost half of the first session to a fog delay and then mechanical gremlins cut short the second session. As a result, he effectively had only one serious timed lap. Overall, it was satisfying to see the KL Minardi Asiatech entries mixing it with BARs and Saubers today, and we now look forward to tomorrow's qualifying session."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
This has been another trouble-free performance by the Asiatech engines in today's practice sessions.
Chassis: PS02/03 (No 22)
Fastest lap: 1 min 51.270 secs
Chassis: PS02/04 (No 23)
Fastest lap: 1 min 51.343 secs
Chassis PS02/01: spare