Today's Italian Grand Prix started well enough for the KL Minardi Asiatech team, with drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong getting away cleanly at the start and moving steadily up the order while turning consistent, competitive lap times.
Today's Italian Grand Prix started well enough for the KL Minardi Asiatech team, with drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong getting away cleanly at the start and moving steadily up the order while turning consistent, competitive lap times. Disappointingly, Webber exited the race on lap 21, when his car suffered an engine-related electronic problem, while Yoong fell victim to a software glitch while making his sole scheduled pit stop of the afternoon, and subsequently lost time in the garage while the problem was traced and rectified. The Malaysian eventually rejoined the race, and had the satisfaction of taking the chequered flag in a hard-earned 13th place.
"At the beginning of the race, the car was okay, although I had a lot of understeer in the first three laps, which at least diminished as the race progressed. Once the race settled down, it was going well. I was in front of Sato and I was able to keep him behind me with no problem at all. At that point, I thought there would be a chance to beat him in the race. When I came into the pit lane for my stop, I think we had an electronic problem because the engine died and would not restart. We put the car in the garage, and it then took a few minutes before we could work out what the problem was. In the end, it turned out be very simple. Once it was sorted, I was able to rejoin the race and just pushed as hard as I could for the remaining laps."
"I made a decent start, had a go at Sato at the Parabolica on the first lap, and after a brief mix-up between Alex and myself at the chicane, was able to home in on the Jordans again. The car was going well at that point, but then it just lost drive. This is the first time I have had two DNFs in a row this year, so we'll definitely be looking to make amends at Indianapolis in two weeks' time. I haven't raced there before, but the history of the place is amazing, so I'm really looking forward to it."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"Today was rather disappointing for the KL Minardi Asiatech team, as a loss of drive ended Mark's race prematurely, on lap 21, and an anti-stall problem caused Alex's car to be withdrawn to the garage, costing him several laps during his one and only pit stop. Apart from this, both cars ran competitively today and a top-10 finish would not have been out of the question. Our congratulations go to Jaguar Racing for a well-earned podium after a gutsy drive from Eddie Irvine."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
Mark Webber's race came to a premature halt due to an electrical problem in the engine's ECU. Alex Yoong, however, finished the race.
Chassis: PS02/03 (No. 22)
Fastest lap: 1 min 27.401secs
Chassis: PS02/04 (No.23)
Position: DNF (lap 21)
Fastest lap: 1min 27.104secs