Most teams have been putting in the test mileage since before Christmas but Spyker has been noticeably absent from the winter season. The new car was launched on February 5th and was due its first track excursion the next day but chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne is not concerned about the delay.
Gascoyne joined Spyker in November 2006 after a stint with Toyota and is familiar with the Silverstone-based team from his time there when it was Jordan. He came to the team in its new conception as overseer of the technical department and is full of praise for the work James Key has done on the new F8-VII.
"One of the good things about the coming year is having James in the company as technical director," Gascoyne said at the launch of the car. "He was made technical director sort of 18 months ago when the team was bought by Midland and he and his people have done a great job to get the team back on an even keel where they can design a car and get it out."
Spyker (then MF1) was supplied engines by Toyota in 2006 but for 2007 the team will be Ferrari-powered. The agreement wasn't announced until the end of September 2006 so that delayed the new car, but Gascoyne professes to have no worries about getting up to speed, especially as the team has been a Bridgestone partner.
"With the Ferrari deal coming so late it was not possible to do much before that in the way of testing," he conceded. "But we're not really starting on the back foot because the construction of the tyres is based on a construction we know well, so I think we know the inherent characteristics of the tyres."
Testing is a time and money consuming endeavour, a necessary evil perhaps, but Gascoyne is confident that Spyker will not suffer due to the lack of winter track time. "We don't have an issue with the lack of testing," he stated.
"The one thing about testing is that it consumes resources and if you've got resources you make sure you're putting them into the most productive things. In some respects we could have made the car for Melbourne a little bit quicker but if it needs to be a second and half quicker rather than a tenth and a half quicker, it's not the best use of resources if a tenth and a half is all we could achieve."
Spyker hopes the initial concept of the F8-VII will be a good basis on which to build and a newer version will appear probably around mid-season. "There will be a B spec car later in the year but I can't say exactly when that will come in," Gascoyne said. "We'll only introduce it when we're satisfied that it will be a step forward."