The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team drivers had a relatively shorter day than hoped for today. Only able to complete one installation lap of the Fuji Speedway this morning as free practice was delayed and eventually cancelled due to inclement...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team drivers had a relatively shorter day than hoped for today. Only able to complete one installation lap of the Fuji Speedway this morning as free practice was delayed and eventually cancelled due to inclement weather conditions, the duo were then disappointingly eliminated in the first 15 minute Qualifying segment.
A September date at a venue set against a backdrop of mountains rising to over 3,000m led, unsurprisingly, to a wet and misty morning at the Fuji Speedway. With much reduced visibility, the medical helicopter was unable to fly and after three delays, the final free practice session was eventually abandoned on safety grounds.
Conditions were slightly improved for Qualifying and the session progressed as normal, but as there had been no chance to evaluate a wet set-up, both Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto struggled to find a good balance to attack the 4.5km Fuji circuit.
Both drivers completed two runs in the 15 minute session, one run on the extreme weather and one on wet Bridgestone Potenza tyres as the track dried slightly. Adrian will start the race from 20th position, with Sakon just behind him on the grid in 22nd after a collision with Ralf Schumacher on his final flying lap prevented him from recording a faster lap time.
"Yesterday was much better than today. We had no real running in the morning in the rainy conditions, so it was hard to set-up the car. We hoped that we would go better but we had so much understeer in the high speed corners, there was no way we could carry the speed through. When the car is wrong it is difficult to do anything in Qualifying; you just have to live with it, but we will check what the problems were and work overnight to be ready for the race tomorrow."
"Today was a strange day as the morning session was cancelled after we had done just one installation lap and we had to go without any data into Qualifying. We tried the extreme weather tyres and I felt the track conditions might allow more grip with wets so we changed, but I struggled to get a good balance on the car and couldn't improve my times. It is a shame, but as always I am going to try to do my best in the race."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"Today we had a very disappointing Qualifying session. After the running yesterday we expected to be much more competitive, but in the wet conditions we just had far too much understeer and weren't able to adjust the balance with the limited time. We now have to look to get a better performance for the race, but with the expected wet weather conditions tomorrow anything could happen."
Q1: 20th 1:28.628 (10 laps)
Q1: 22nd 1:29.668 (10 laps)