Despite speculation that he may turn his back on the GP2 Asia Series after just one double-header round, F1 veteran Alex Yoong has insisted that he looking to turning things around in Dubai next month.
The Malaysian, who admittedly had the excuse of having been out of the cockpit for the best part of a year, struggled to get on the pace of the GP2 regulars in Shanghai, but was also eclipsed by rookie team-mate Earl Bamber, who went on to secure a podium finish in the sprint race.
Frustrated by feeling that his My Team Qi Meritus Mahara entry was down on power, Yoong allegedly put his participation in question unless a solution could be found in the lengthy gap before round two in Dubai.
“We had some speed problems on the straight and I was 8km/h slower than Earl with the same car," Yoong pointed out, having finished 14th and ninth in China, "Now that we have had time to work on the car, however, I'm confident I will be more competitive in Dubai and this will be good as our main goal is to challenge for the team title.”
The only truly Asian team on the grid, Meritus is confident that it can have both its cars at the sharp end of the grid next time out, with 18-year old Bamber looking to build on the form that saw him become the youngest ever podium finisher in GP2.
“The competition in GP2 Asia is harder than what I have experienced until now, but I'm pleased with the way I handled it,” said the Kiwi, whose speed and composure became a talking point in the Shanghai paddock.
“The car is fantastic, but I am still on a learning curve. I had never dreamt of such an incredible result having ranked 23rd in our first practice session [but], if the team get to work a bit more on the car, we will have other good races."