Yoong's father dismisses detractors

"ALEX'S MENTAL STRENGTH WILL SEE HIM THROUGH" Hanifah discounts negative comments and calls on all Malaysians to enjoy the race. "Alex is well prepared for his first ever home grand prix and his mental strength will see him through." said...

"ALEX'S MENTAL STRENGTH WILL SEE HIM THROUGH" Hanifah discounts negative comments and calls on all Malaysians to enjoy the race.

"Alex is well prepared for his first ever home grand prix and his mental strength will see him through." said Hanifah Yoong, the father of Alex Yoong who had managed his son's early racing career. "He had not let up in his work load despite the hectic demands made to him by the media and sponsors. He still squeezed in his daily training in the gym without fail. His manager, Simon Munger who was a rugby player has been accompanying Alex in his daily training, the past two weeks."

On the negative comments about his son, Hanifah said "Alex, believe me, is not bothered by them and he cannot afford to be bothered by them. We should realise that even Michael Schumacher has his detractors, even in Germany. This is natural as there are Frentzen fans and Heidfeld fans who prefer to see their respective idols gertting the better deals. In Malaysia there many who have been supporting the Sauber team because of our national oil company's long time involvement. It's no different here. It's just like opposing fans in a football cup final either cheering or booing. It is just sport."

Hanifah however said that if the negative comments came from people who just wanted to "pick-at-a-bone", then this is unfortunate. "These people could have since a long time ago been predicting that Alex will fail in his audacious dream chase and maybe feeling a little embarassed themselves for having made the wrong prediction before Alex made F1. These are the people who possibly may like to see Alex fail to justify their erroneous prediction. I am hopeful that Alex will show through his performance in the course of this year to win them over."

"Perhaps there is a some truth in what has been percieved as possible negative Malaysian attitude if we compare the Australians' zeal in supporting underdogs in sports. The classical comparison in my view is how the Jamaicans got together as a whole nation to support their bobsleigh team in the Olympics even though the team had no chance. This effort by the whole nation of Jamaica permeated throughout the world and a movie was even made for the bobsleigh team's effort." added Hanifah. "Malaysians do need to give their sportsmen and sportswomen a better chance to excel. We do have a few quick-to-condemn reactions in Malaysia in respect to other sports, not only in motorsports but. we have also seen it in badminton, soccer and athletics too. But these are a very small minority and they are not significant."

Hanifah emphasised that such reported negative Malaysian attitude had been grossly exaggerated as Alex had received much more positive emails by the thousands when compared to emails received by him which are negative as these only numbered by the tens. He clarified that, "Not all negative comments came from Malaysia as some are from motorsports fans around the world who are disappointed that their own idols have missed out on the ever so few seats that are available in Formula 1 each year."

In conclusion Hanifah urged all Malaysians turn up at Sepang or tune-in on their TV sets to cheer the KL Minardi Asiatech team on, "As Alex has said that he and the team will give a 100% effort, they are the underdogs and it may well prove to be another surprise that no one should miss out on. Come out there in force and enjoy the first Malaysian Grand Prix with a Malaysian driving in it."

-www.alexyoong.com-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Alex Yoong
Teams Sauber , Minardi