In advance of this week's Brazilian Grand Prix, the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has conducted Q&As with drivers Sakon Yamamoto and Adrian Sutil. Adrian Sutil Q: You had a great race in Japan but things didn't work in China. What...
In advance of this week's Brazilian Grand Prix, the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has conducted Q&As with drivers Sakon Yamamoto and Adrian Sutil.
Q: You had a great race in Japan but things didn't work in China. What was the story of your race?
AS: We thought the heavy rain would come, but it didn't, so it was a wrong tyre decision with the extreme wets the first time, but if you are at the back, you have to take these risks. I was hoping for sure that the rain would come down, but there was not enough, and I just saw my chances going away.
Then also a second time, we put on the dry tyres a little early and the rain came again. For two laps there were spots of rain and especially in the last sector the rain was coming down. It was the wrong place to be with these tyres, and I smashed the car into the wall suddenly. It just turned right.
Q: Ralf Schumacher went off just before you. Did that affect you in some way?
AS: It was a different incident, although I saw Ralf walking away in front of me when I got out of the car. I just went straight on and suddenly the car went to the right, there was a patch of water. That's why many teams stayed for a long time with the wet tyre, which was quite quick. The difficulty is to get the dry tyre up to temperature in these damp conditions and it is very easy to go off.
Q: Any thoughts on the next race in Brazil?
AS: It's the first time I'll be there, and I'm looking forward to seeing another new track after China. Hopefully it will be a better weekend! I only know the circuit from TV. Obviously it has a really long straight and it's very bumpy, so for sure it won't be easy to set the car up. We've seen already in other tracks that the car is a better in low downforce spec, so we will run as little as possible.
Q: Can you believe that it will be the last race of the season?
AS: It's gone very quickly, it's amazing that already my first F1 season is over. But I think after 17 races everybody needs a little break! I'm looking forward to having some free time after the end of the season.
Q: China was obviously a frustrating race for the team. What are your thoughts?
SY: At the end of the day we can say the tyre decision was wrong, but at that time nobody knew what was going to happen. We expected that heavy rain would be coming straight after the race started, so we used the extreme tyres. Unfortunately the rain didn't come!
Q: How difficult was it at the start?
SY: For the first couple of laps I drove to take care of the tyres, because the track conditions were only good for standard wets, and the amount of water wasn't enough for extreme tyres. I just felt that I had to keep the tyre condition good, because if you use them too hard, then after that you lose the value of choosing the extreme tyres in the first place. The situation was difficult, the rain didn't come, and we changed to the standard wets.
At that time the race was basically finished for us in terms of competitiveness, so I just decided just to finish the race as well as possible. The car balance was quite understeery, and it was very difficult to drive, but at the end of the race I did some good lap times, and getting another finish was a plus.
Q: Last year you set seventh fastest lap in Brazil after a late stop for new tyres. Are you excited about going back?
SY: Brazil is one of my favourite circuits, and I want to do a really good race there. Last year my car wasn't really great, so in that kind of situation it was an amazing result that we could be seventh quickest in the race, and also I was second quickest in the second sector. So I'm really looking forward to driving there.
Q: What do you like about the circuit?
SY: I like the layout, especially Sector 2 of course! It's very complicated, just right, left, right. As an F1 circuit it is a bit tight, but if you've got the rhythm, it's really good fun.
Q: The car works well in low downforce trim. Will that be an advantage?
SY: Yes, it's good if you have a low downforce car there, and for sure your straightline speed is going to be quicker. Then the problem is how you manage Sector 2, the twisty section. But as I said I like it, and I think I can do a good job there.