In advance of this week's Monaco Grand Prix, the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has conducted Q&As with drivers Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil. Christijan Albers Q: Both cars finished again in Spain. Were you happy with the ...
In advance of this week's Monaco Grand Prix, the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has conducted Q&As with drivers Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil.
Q: Both cars finished again in Spain. Were you happy with the overall performance?
CA: It's getting better and better. It's just a shame about the drivethrough I got. Anyway, it's done! In the beginning Adrian walked a little bit away from me. We had a good pit stop, and I came quite close to him. I had a reasonable set of tyres and I could catch him again, but then I had traffic and the drivethrough while we quite strong on this set of tyres, so it was really a shame. You have lap times up and down, and you're just chasing yourself.
But when we changed to the hard tyres we had a problem in the pits which stalled the engine, but we finished the race, which was important as we needed to get as much data as possible and to learn as much as possible from the car. Sometimes in the race it was really good to drive it, and sometimes it was difficult. That's always what you have!
Q: Drivers with a more aggressive style, like yourself, seem to have found life difficult with the harder tyres this year. How are you trying to adapt?
CA: I am trying to adapt myself, and I'm also trying to find something in the car with my engineers to get the car better. People who drive aggressively, like Kubica or Alonso, and maybe also Kimi, I think they are struggling like me. You just have to try to adapt yourself as quickly as possible.
Q: When you don't really feel comfortable with the car, do you lose a bit of confidence?
CA: If you don't know what you had, you just learn how it is. But if you come from last year, it's much harder. Adrian is doing a good job, he's a really quick driver, but also he didn't have to adapt to how it was. He couldn't expect something else like we had last year, because with last year's tyres it was really an F1 car, you turned in, you could push, it was really good to drive the car. It's good now also of course, but it's more difficult, and you see that. I think it's the same for Lewis.
Q: Do you feel that you are making progress?
CA: Yes. I'm really happy now. Maybe it sounds strange, but we are improving all the time, the set-up as well as myself, and you see I'm coming closer. I should have been in front of Adrian in qualifying, but I had traffic on the last outing. Four cars in the first corner, and the second time it was three cars. But I have to say that I'd rather have bad luck now than through the season, when we have the new car. I'm really looking forward to that.
Q: Are you excited about going to Monaco?
CA: Yes of course, but for a driver it's a really difficult weekend, because there are a lot of distractions. It's a very busy place, the garages are very small, and so on. But I think on Sunday night everybody will relax and everything will be easy!
Q: How excited are you about going to Monaco?
AS: I think it's the highlight of this year for me, so I'm really looking forward to it. I really like the track. In F3 it was already a really nice event, very challenging for sure. Everything is very narrow, the barriers are very close, so you need to find the middle and not push too hard at the beginning. You have to learn the circuit and not crash the car! That's very important, especially in the first and second practice sessions.
Q: You obviously watched the race on TV and maybe played computer games. When you went there, did you feel like you knew it already?
AS: My first time there was in F3 when I raced in 2005, but I knew the corners already for sure, but reality is always different, all the bumps and so on. You're much more careful then! It was a good weekend, and actually I still have the track record with an F3 car and started on pole position there in 2005. In the second race I crashed in the first corner. It's really easy to go out there, so I know already some tricky places.
Q: Have you raced on other street circuits?
AS: Yes. Norisring, which is a bit more open, Pau, and last year Macau for the first time.
Q: How do you approach the weekend mentally?
AS: You want to show what you can do, but you can't afford to crash. I think on the first day you just have to take it easy, and try to learn as much as you can. Then on the second day, Saturday, you have to push. You can risk something later in qualifying.
Q: Do you see the race as a big chance for Spyker to be a bit closer to the front?
AS: Maybe. Last year was quite good for the car in Monaco. Usually we have a problem with drag, long straights are not good for us, and in Monaco we only have short straights. It won't be so easy, but we should be all right there. It's also a place where you can do something if you're a really good driver.
Q: Do you enjoy the weekend as a whole?
AS: I think it will be a lot of fun. Every day there's a big event, you've got all the boats, and the atmosphere is very special and very exclusive. It's nice to have it once a year. But for me it's quite hard to spend money there, because it's too expensive!