The second round of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship kicked off today at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, with two 90-minute practice sessions. After missing the four-day test last week at the same circuit, today the Etihad...
The second round of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship kicked off today at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, with two 90-minute practice sessions. After missing the four-day test last week at the same circuit, today the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team focussed on evaluating its new aero package and the performance of the new hard and medium Bridgestone Potenza tyre compounds. Adrian Sutil recorded the team's best time of the day, a 1:38.419 in the second session.
Adrian completed his first-ever laps of Sepang in the morning practice, with a lap that placed him 16th overall, just 0.4secs shy of the two Renaults. In the second session, run in much hotter temperatures, Adrian's focus switched to testing the softer tyres and fine-tuning set-up for tomorrow's Qualifying session. The 24-year-old German completed 28 laps to better his morning's time by 0.3secs.
Christijan was however left disappointed with his day's results. Unhappy with the balance of his car in the first session, in the second session's final minutes, the Dutchman then suffered a right rear tyre failure coming out of the first turn, which had been caused by a puncture. To avoid further damage to his car, Christijan pulled over off the circuit, bringing his day to a premature end. Christijan completed 48 laps in total today, with a best of 1:39.807.
The final one hour practice session will be held tomorrow at 11:00hrs local time, with Qualifying at 14:00hrs.
"At first it was difficult as I had to learn the circuit and, with no testing data from last week, it was quite hard to find a good balance overall. But in the end we managed quite reasonable times and went better in the second practice. We fine-tuned the set-up and the performance of the car with the harder tyres and gained around a second."
"On the last outing I switched to the softer tyres, but unfortunately I had a yellow flag on my fastest lap and lost about three tenths. It was still a reasonable time, just 2.6secs off the pace, but I think we can improve tomorrow and leave some cars behind us."
"We found it difficult to find a good set up and get a reasonable time, so we have to study the data tonight, both from the car and about my driving style too. Most important is to find the right balance, which we couldn't do today. It's such a shame about the puncture as I didn't get a chance to run on the softer tyre, which might have made a difference."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"We had a productive day today, especially as we didn't go to the test last week. Both drivers worked on evaluating the new tyres, which we hadn't tested at this circuit before, and although we had some degradation on the rear and some oversteer, we know how we can improve on this tomorrow."
"Adrian was reasonably happy, but now we've got to maximise this performance. Unfortunately Christijan's afternoon was cut short with the puncture, which meant he didn't get the chance to try out the softer tyre that, as Adrian showed, gave some improvement in time."
FP1: 16th, 1:38.720 (29 laps)
FP2: 19th, 1:38.419 (28 laps)
FP1: 22nd, 1:40.074 (25 laps)
FP2: 22nd, 1:39.807 (23 laps)