INDIANAPOLIS, UNITED STATES, September 30, 2001 -- Race day for the second running of the United States Grand Prix at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway dawned full of hope for European Minardi F1, but ended in disappointment. After a fine ...
INDIANAPOLIS, UNITED STATES, September 30, 2001 -- Race day for the second running of the United States Grand Prix at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway dawned full of hope for European Minardi F1, but ended in disappointment. After a fine performance in qualifying, Fernando Alonso and Alex Yoong started today's penultimate round of the 2001 Formula One World Championship well enough, settling down to a comfortable race pace and planning on one-stop and two strategies respectively for fuel and tyres. Unfortunately, neither man made it to the chequered flag, Alonso retiring on lap 36 with a broken driveshaft and Yoong stopping on the course two laps later after fighting a loosing battle over several laps with gear selection difficulties. Up to that point, he had been running well and looked on course to finish his first Grand Prix.
"At the beginning of the formation lap, the launch control didn't work and I had a poor start. As a result, I lost some places. After I came in for my first scheduled pit stop, I was unable to continue as the result of a driveshaft failure."
ALEX YOONG "It was quite an uneventful race where my intention was simply to maintain a steady pace. On the opening laps, I flat-spotted a tyre, which caused quite a lot of vibration. After my first pit stop, and with a new set of tyres fitted, the car was definitely handling better, but unfortunately, some gearbox problems developed and a couple of laps later my car just stopped. It is a bit disappointing not to finish, especially as it looked like there might be the possibility of a good result today. It's a shame, but all we can do now is address the problems and look forward to the next race."
PAUL STODDART "Sadly today, neither European Minardi driver was able to profit from what, up to that point, had been a constructive weekend. It's particularly frustrating for Fernando, after that brilliant performance in qualifying yesterday, that the gearbox let him down today. With Alex suffering similar problems, it's clear the team needs to work on drivetrain reliability before the final race, at Suzuka, in two weeks' time."