This year's Belgian Grand Prix started well enough for KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Anthony Davidson, but bad luck and mechanical gremlins spelled the end of the Faenza squad's challenge in what turned out to be a largely...
This year's Belgian Grand Prix started well enough for KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Anthony Davidson, but bad luck and mechanical gremlins spelled the end of the Faenza squad's challenge in what turned out to be a largely processional race. Webber's car ground to a halt on lap five with a gearbox problem, while Davidson retired following a spectacularly smoky spin at Pouhon on lap 18, three laps after making the first of his two scheduled pit stops. The team now heads for Monza, for the start of an important four-day test that will see Webber, Alex Yoong and David Saelens all handling the driving duties at various times.
"After Mark retired from the race, I had no benchmark to base my performance on, so I was just pushing hard trying to keep the gap level with Taku (Sato), because I could see him ahead of me in the first stint. I was happy with the performance of the car and the tyres, and it was really fun to ride behind Taku and Olivier (Panis). I just pushed a bit too hard around the Pouhon corner, though, lost grip at the back when I went over a kerb, and spun into the gravel. It's a shame, because it was a really enjoyable race up to that point. I wish I was still out there!"
"Again, it has been a trying weekend for us. We had a few issues on Friday in the first session, which lost us time in the second session, and also in the untimed session on Saturday morning. Qualifying went well for us, and the warm-up today wasn't bad either. We had quite a bit of fuel in the car this morning and so we were looking forward to the race. It was going okay up until we had a gearbox problem. It's unfortunate I couldn't do more laps at a track that I enjoy, but we've had a very good finishing record this season, and you cannot expect to finish every single race. This is one of the rare occasions the car has caused us some problems."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"Today saw both KL Minardi Asiatech drivers having an early shower. Sadly, Mark has struggled with reliability this weekend and was let down by a gearbox-related problem on lap five. Sadly, Anthony found a slippery curve on lap 18, which brought his strong performance with the team to an end. With regular driver, Alex Yoong, back at Monza, the team would like to thank 'Ant' for a job truly well down. I'm sure we'll see a lot more of Anthony Davidson in Formula One in the future - he really does deserve to be here."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
There were no engine problems today.
Chassis: PS02/03 (No 22)
Position: DNF (lap 18)
Fastest lap: 1 min 51.878secs
Chassis: PS02/04 (No 23)
Position: DNF (lap 5)
Fastest lap: 1 min52.469 secs