The newly-rebranded Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team today completed its first day of running in the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship. In an overcast, sultry Melbourne, Australia, the team completed two 90-minute free practice sessions, with Adrian Sutil and Christijan Albers at the wheel for both segments.
In changeable conditions, Adrian Sutil posted a total of 26 trouble-free laps, recording the 14th fastest time out of 22 competitors in the first session as he with familiarised himself with the Albert Park track. In the latter practice, he was able to put his new experience to use as he covered 35 laps to post the 20th fastest time.
Christijan Albers limited his track time in the damp opening session, however put in 32 laps in the second 90-minute segment to put yet more miles on the Spyker F8-VII.
"Today was challenging as we've never run the car on a street track before and we struggled a little for grip and to get the tyres up to speed in the cool temperatures, but we know what we have to do. The circuit is not that difficult to get to know, but there are some tricky parts and there isn't much grip in places. As we saw when some of the top drivers went off, it's easy to lock up and run wide, but I like the track a lot. I hope I will be even better in Qualifying than today."
"Even though today was a reasonably difficult day with the wet track and cold temperatures, I think it was quite productive. Everybody is ready for the fight; we know it's not going to be easy but we'll be there tomorrow, trying our best to get the most out of the car and trying to understand the tyres as much as we can."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"Today went as expected and we had no real mechanical issues. The first session's damp conditions made it difficult to gather any meaningful information, but it did give Adrian the opportunity to cover a lot of laps and familiarise himself with the circuit."
"In the second session we worked on comparing two tyres, but we're still struggling to get temperature into them in the cooler conditions today but this should improve over the weekend. Also we suffered with graining, especially on the softer tyre. We just have to get the tyres in the right window and then work to improve the performance of the car."
FP1: 14th, 1:34.043, 26 laps
FP2: 20th, 1:31.108, 35 laps
FP1: 16th, 1:35.055, 10 laps
FP2: 21st, 1:31.175, 32 laps