A GOOD EFFORT DESPITE PROBLEMS In a generally processional Grand Prix of Europe in which all the competitors up to fifth position were lapped by the finish, KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong drove strongly in the race. Each...
A GOOD EFFORT DESPITE PROBLEMS
In a generally processional Grand Prix of Europe in which all the competitors up to fifth position were lapped by the finish, KL Minardi Asiatech drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong drove strongly in the race. Each had significant problems to overcome during the event, Yoong being assessed a penalty for jumping the start and losing time when his fuel rig malfunctioned during his one scheduled pit stop, while Webber had to grapple with a severe handling imbalance, possibly the result of going off track while avoiding a first-corner incident. Unfortunately, Yoong was forced to retire his car 11 laps from the end of the race with a broken hydraulic pump. With new tyres fitted and the handling of his car much improved, however, Webber charged through his final two stints and claimed a commendable 15th at the chequered flag.
"I made a good start and took a few people going into turn one and on the exit as we were avoiding the spinning Jordans. The next 18 laps or so were just unbelievable as I found myself fighting a big chassis balance problem. After the first of my two pit stops, however, and with a new set of tyres fitted, the situation improved massively and we set some good lap times. We made progress in the middle of the race and then, in the final stint, things were also working well for us. I guess you could say I enjoyed laps 20 to 60, but not one to 19."
"It was an interesting race, from my point of view. I had a false start when I misread the starting gantry lights in the bright sunlight and was assessed a drive-through penalty. Then there was a problem with the refuelling rig when I made my scheduled pit stop, and finally, I was forced to retire the car with a few laps of the race to go when we suffered a broken hydraulic pump. I'm obviously disappointed not to have finished, but despite the problems, I'm pleased with my performance today. The lap times were good, the car felt consistent, and I think we could have had a strong finish if all had gone according to plan."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"Generally, it was a day of mixed fortunes for the KL Minardi Asiatech team. Mark had a busy first stint, having to do quite a bit to avoid the Jordans at the first corner after they touched, and then suffered a significant handling balance problem. After his first pit stop, though, he set some impressive lap times. We're pleased he finished the race and took 15th place at the chequered flag as reward for his efforts. At the same time, we're sad for Alex, who despite being assessed a 'drive-through' penalty for jumping the start, put in a strong performance in the race and was denied the finish he deserved. Overall, we're pleased with the team's performance this weekend."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
The European Grand Prix again proved the reliability of the Asiatech engines. Mark Webber saw the chequered flag after a gritty drive, while Alex Yoong was eliminated with just 11 laps to go by a hydraulic problem. The Asiatech engineers also used the weekend to pursue the ongoing development of the AT02. Alex Yoong tested new exhausts Friday, which helped improve acceleration, and for the race, both drivers used a new start strategy.
Chassis: PS02/04 (No 23)
Fastest lap: 1 min 35.880 secs
Chassis: PS02/03 (No 22)
Position: DNF (lap 48)
Fastest lap: 1 min 36.932 secs