MIXED FORTUNES IMOLA, ITALY, April 13, 2002 - KL Minardi Asiatech experienced a bittersweet qualifying session for tomorrow's Grand Prix of San Marino. Mark Webber qualified an excellent 19th, despite having to switch to the team's spare chassis...
IMOLA, ITALY, April 13, 2002 - KL Minardi Asiatech experienced a bittersweet qualifying session for tomorrow's Grand Prix of San Marino. Mark Webber qualified an excellent 19th, despite having to switch to the team's spare chassis for his last two runs of the afternoon when his normal race car lost power. Struggling with a brake balance problem throughout Saturday's morning practice sessions as well as in qualifying, Alex Yoong still managed to improve his lap time by a second during the afternoon. Unfortunately, though, his fastest lap was not within 107 per cent of the eventual pole position time and, as a result, he will not be able to take part in tomorrow's race.
"It was an awesome day and an awesome qualifying session for us. We had a problem on my race car today - we still don't know exactly what happened - and I had to jump in the T-car, which was set up for Alex. I just gave my last lap absolutely everything to get the time I did. I was so happy for the guys because they really busted themselves to get the spare car turned around for me, and then to do those two runs in the end was great. It was good to do it here at Imola, as I love the circuit."
"I was a bit handicapped at the outset by never having driven this circuit in the dry. I felt I had it sorted after the second 45-minute session this morning, but I underestimated the levels of grip available here in the dry with the car in qualifying trim. I'm particularly sorry for the guys, who worked really hard to get me in the race. It's very disappointing."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"That was a fantastic qualifying performance from Mark, particularly considering he had to use the spare car for his last two runs, which had Alex's settings on it at the beginning of the session. We really feel for Alex, especially when you consider that in the last two races he has been within half a second of Mark in qualifying. Alex's car had a brake balance problem today, and the 2.5-second gap between him and his team mate in qualifying in no way reflects his true ability."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
"This has been a mixed day for Asiatech, but we look forward to a positive race tomorrow."
PS02/03 - Alex Yoong (No 22)
PS02/04 - Mark Webber(No 23)
PS02/01 - spare
Fastest lap: 1 min 24.790 secs
Position: 22nd (DNQ)
Fastest lap: 1 min 27.241 secs