ALEX YOONG THANKS MINARDI FOR THE SUPPORT "It was a good year with many challenges....." Malaysian Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong took time off to express his gratitude to the Minardi team for a great year of experience in Formula 1 while he ...
ALEX YOONG THANKS MINARDI FOR THE SUPPORT "It was a good year with many challenges....."
Malaysian Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong took time off to express his gratitude to the Minardi team for a great year of experience in Formula 1 while he finalises his plans for next year.
"I must thank Paul (Stoddart) for giving me the opportunity in Formula 1 as well as the whole team who worked tirelessly and never gave up hope on me. I would specially mention my engineer Greg Wheeler who has stuck it out with me through the good and bad times. The crew on my car did a great job all year, so special thanks also to Bazza, Forest and Fritz."
"It was a good year with many challenges along the way. Although the results mid way through the season were not what I expected them to be, I learnt a lot as the season went on and was pleased with how the year ended. Coming back for the last three races with strong performances was satisfying and it was a just reward for those who stood by me in my first year of Formula One."
The Minardi's option on Yoong has not been exercised by the team as yet, with the dateline being the end of November. Yoong felt that there shouldn't be any problem to get a release from Minardi in order that he can finalise his plans for next year. "We are very close to signing with a winning CART team. The moment this is done we'll have to get the release from Minardi and we'll move on from there." said Yoong.
Asked why wouldn't he take up the test seat with Minardi as offered, Yoong said, "A year's testing would do me good for sure, but I do not believe Minardi will be testing much in 2003. I feel a year's racing would be better and am looking forward to CART. Also the fact that there is a chance to win races instead of racing at the back is very attractive to me. The competition in CART is very intense but it's possible for me to do well there. The series have quite a number of races outside America and I'm sure it will expand further."
"However I must pay tribute to Paul who had a difficult year with all the off-track pressure and distractions. To come through all that and for the team to finish a fantastic 9th is testimony of his astuteness and extremely hard work that he had put in all year. Without Paul, the team would not have been racing. I really hope that Minardi will be in Formula 1 next year and for the years to come."