The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team today continued its solid progress with its new B-spec F8-VII at the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Demonstrating a marked improvement in pace relative to other teams, Adrian Sutil and Sakon...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team today continued its solid progress with its new B-spec F8-VII at the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Demonstrating a marked improvement in pace relative to other teams, Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto both finished the day just over one second off the top ten.
In unsually sunny and stable conditions in the Ardennes, the team completed a productive programme of general set-up and development work and tyre comparison over longer runs. As temperatures rose in the afternoon, the team moved up the order to finish the day with Sakon Yamamoto setting the 17th fastest time in the second session.
Despite this being his Spa debut, Sakon had a solid day, with a minor brake problem on his final lap of the first session being his only issue. Adrian found the day slightly harder going as he struggled to find a good balance, but looked set to record a strong finish until he ran off line and into the barriers going into turn seven at the end of the second session.
Nevertheless with its relatively quicker pace the team goes into the final practice hour and Qualifying tomorrow with hope of further improvement.
"It was again a hard day. I found it difficult to get a good balance - the car is quite difficult to set up, with either big oversteer or understeer. When I went off on the entry of turn seven I had some oversteer and I just lost it. It was not a big incident but I could not go on in the session."
"This was my first day driving at Spa and I really enjoyed it. This circuit is quite fast after the hairpin so you shouldn't push in just one corner, instead try to drive very smoothly and get into a rhythm. I think you can really see our improvement here from the last test with the A-spec car, there is a real difference. We still have to discuss our programme tomorrow, but we will try to keep going forward as much as we can."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"In general it was a very productive day spoiled at the end by a silly mistake by Adrian on his in lap, but overall the B-spec car is much more competitive here as we expected. Both drivers look very good over a long run and on new tyres and we have to build on this tomorrow. We now have a step forward and I think there is a good chance that we may make it into Q2 tomorrow."
FP1: 18th, 1:50.768 (22 laps)
FP2: 20th, 1:50.399 (24 laps)
FP1: 21st, 1:52.379 (21 laps)
FP2: 17th, 1:49.697 (32 laps)