The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team got tantalisingly close to going into the second Qualifying segment for the first time today at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. With the improvement in pace gained from its new B-spec F8-VII, Adrian Sutil was...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team got tantalisingly close to going into the second Qualifying segment for the first time today at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. With the improvement in pace gained from its new B-spec F8-VII, Adrian Sutil was just 0.5secs from the vital 16th place and Q2.
Adrian had an extremely productive final free practice session, completing final long run checks and set-up work. Setting the 18th fastest time of the morning, the German looked set to improve his time in Qualifying, but a small error on the exit to the final chicane cost him that few vital tenths of a second. He will start tomorrow's 44 lap race from 20th position.
Sakon Yamamoto had a more difficult day. A front left brake disc failure sent him into the barriers on his last lap of the morning's practice, but as only superficial damage was done to the nosebox, technicians were able to get the Japanese driver out again for Qualifying. Unfortunately his programme was then interrupted by a call to the weighbridge and, with the laps at Spa being the longest on the calendar at just under two minutes, was only able to complete one flying lap. Sakon will line up in 22nd position.
"Here with the B-spec we saw an improvement. We are quicker on the straights and the downforce is much better through the quicker corners. It was very close and in the end we dropped down the order a little bit, but the car was definitely good enough to take P18 or better. I just lost a little bit of time by locking a wheel in the last chicane that cost a few tenths but I can still be quite happy as it was the strongest performance yet in Qualifying. We were really close to the field and hopefully tomorrow we will have even more chance of moving up the order."
"Generally my day was disappointing. This morning I had a brake problem and then I had to go out for my first run in Qualifying with hard tyres to prepare the brakes. Then I came in and lost some time on the scales. We had planned to go out twice on the softer tyre but in fact we only had time to do one run. It was a difficult session but tomorrow I will do my best in the race and I know we can do better from our results in the Friday practices."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"At last an exciting Qualifying session for us. I think we were much closer to the rest of the field in this session and it's just a shame that a very small mistake for Adrian on the last corner cost us 18th place or higher. It shows that we are now making real progress and we look forward to tomorrow's race where traditionally we are stronger and look to fight and beat some of the cars in front of us."
Q1: 20th, 1:48.044 (8 laps)
Q1: 22nd, 1:49.577 (5 laps)