July 13th, 2002

Milk Carton

Yoong quiting F1?

Minardi driver Alex Yoong has refuted media suggestions that he is considering quitting Formula One™ racing after failing to qualify for the second time this season at Silverstone.

In a press release, Yoong claimed that quotes from a recent interview given by his father Hanifah had been taken out of context by other media outlets, and insisted he has no plans to leave the sport.

"What he (Hanifah) said was just what he felt I may be thinking," said Yoong. "And his feeling that Minardi may not renew my contract is just a speculation based on the results so far and it has not come from myself or the team.

"As far as I am concerned, I am just concentrating with the work I need to do and to do the best I can for the rest of the season. The news report that I will quit is just rubbish."

Yoong hasn't had the best of seasons to date, failing to make the grid at both Imola and Silverstone, leading to speculation on his future in the series.

However, Yoong confirmed that he does not need to worry about his Minardi contract until at least the end of the season, as the team have until November to exercise their option on him for 2003.

He also hit out at his home media, who he claims have been overly critical and unsupportive of his motor racing efforts.

"I cannot understand some of the reports that have been written," he said. "It's not as if Malaysia has a dozen F1 contenders standing by waiting to get in this year as Brazil has.

"In fact Brazil has maybe a dozen drivers on both sides of the Atlantic good enough for F1 and waiting to get in but I don't think any Brazilian press discourage anyone of them from going ahead.

"But some media in Malaysia are just so negative that it seems they would be gratified to see me go. In order to succeed one must not be afraid of failure. I will carry on till there is no possibility to continue."

Yoong's best result this season was his seventh place at the opening round in Australia. He has yet to qualify higher than 21st.
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