The first day of practice for Sunday's United States Grand Prix began with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway affected by the rainy remnants of Hurricane Isidore, but ended warm and sunny. Friday's outcome was equally positive for KL Minardi Asiatech...
The first day of practice for Sunday's United States Grand Prix began with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway affected by the rainy remnants of Hurricane Isidore, but ended warm and sunny. Friday's outcome was equally positive for KL Minardi Asiatech drivers, Mark Webber and Alex Yoong, who completed the pair of one-hour sessions in 15th and 19th places respectively. Webber's performance was particularly creditable, as it marked the young Australian's first experience of the technically demanding, 13-turn, 4.19-km Speedway "road course".
Webber and Yoong spent the time initially familiarising themselves with the track, and then worked on the handling and aerodynamic performance of their cars. They also conducted the usual tyre evaluation runs that are an essential part of Friday's activities. Both KL Minardi chassis and Asiatech engine ran faultlessly throughout, enabling Webber and Yoong to amass the greatest combined number of laps of any driver pairing running today.
"We had a good run today. We did a lot of laps, which helped us to get some good information. It is the first time here for me and I enjoyed the circuit a lot. We will look through all the data tonight and aim to make some improvements for tomorrow's morning session, ready for qualifying. As usual, we have fuel to take out for tomorrow. Overall, it has been a good session and the times are very close. There are no really quick corners here - it's a collection of slower corners and then just the long straight. We therefore have to look at making the best compromise we can on chassis set-up."
"We tried some new suspension settings today, and I think potentially these could be good. It was very slippery out there today and, as a result, we struggled a little bit to find a satisfactory chassis balance between the two sessions. I believe we can find the right balance tomorrow, though, and the car will be good."
PAUL STODDART, Team Principal
"This has been a good start to the weekend for the KL Minardi Asiatech team, with less than two seconds separating P2 and P20, and both Mark and Alex completing their full complement of laps. Having said that, we didn't get the best out of the track or the tyres today, so there is definitely the potential both to go quicker and to learn more tomorrow. All told, we should be in good shape for qualifying."
THE ASIATECH VIEW
A robust performance from the Asiatech engines enabled both KL Minardi Asiatech drivers to rack up the highest combined total of laps in today's practice sessions.
Chassis: PS02/04 (No 23)
Fastest lap: 1 min 15.629secs
Chassis: PS02/03 (No 22)
Fastest lap: 1 min 16.138secs