The Spyker Formula One Team today started its real test programme with the new F8-VII at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. With Adrian Sutil driving, the team covered 84 laps, focussing on accumulating data on the car and the new Bridgestone Potenza tyres.

In sunny and warm conditions, interrupted only by a brief rain storm over lunchtime, Sutil completed just under 400km with no major mechanical issues to record a best time of 1:25.581secs.

Mike Gascoyne, Chief technical officer:

"Today was a very pleasing day, especially since it was effectively our first day of testing since the end of last season as we weren't able to run much in the icy conditions at Silverstone last week. We concentrated on getting in some long runs and getting some mileage on the car and I'm pleased with how the car ran."

"We had no real problems, but it's a big learning process with the tyres. The consistency was good but we need to look at obtaining more pace over the first lap with new tyres. Obviously the other teams have had longer to get to grips with them, but overall it was a very promising first day. The long runs were nice and consistent, but we have to work on our ultimate pace over the next two days."

Adrian Sutil, who had never driven at Barcelona before, added:

"It was a good day, we did a lot of laps and could really try different set ups and see how the car reacted. It is our first real test of the year so over the course of the three days we will get an idea of where we are in relation to the others."

"We know we have some work to do, but the other teams have done much more testing so we're not too bad; there's some potential in the car. It will be interesting to see how it goes in the next few days. I'll be out in the car next time in Valencia, a track I already know, and I'm looking forward to continue to get to know the team and the car."

The test programme will continue tomorrow at Barcelona. Christijan Albers will take over driving duties from Sutil for the remaining two days.

-credit: spyker