SPYKER LAUNCHES NEW CAR AND DRIVER LINE-UP
Today the Spyker Formula One team launched its 2007 car and drivers at Silverstone circuit, UK. Team principal Colin Kolles presented the team's latest challenger, the Spyker F8-VII, drivers Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil and an exciting new test driver line-up at the Northamptonshire circuit.
Managing director and team principal Colin Kolles predicted a 'transition year' for the team, with a focus in the early part of the year on improved reliability and performance, before a big step forward with a revised B-spec car towards the second part of the year. "We know that the first half of the season could be challenging for the team, but with the stability that Spyker has brought with it, we've got a real direction and focus now," Kolles explained. "We know that Spyker want to make the project work, and we've already set about making changes to turn the team around. One of the first steps was to bring in Mike Gascoyne to lead the technical team and help give the direction we need."
Chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne, added, "Since I arrived at Spyker three months ago, I've been looking carefully at the technical department to put in place the personnel, procedures and resources that will give the team structure; already we've doubled our aerodynamic resources with a second wind tunnel and dedicated team in Italy. As a team we're looking at planning for the future through a more structured approach by prioritising key aspects that will give a big improvement rather than small, gradual steps. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the changes in the second half of the season when we deliver an improved B-spec package."
Twenty-seven year old Dutch driver, Christijan Albers, remains with the team for a further year. Albers, although not satisfied with the results of the 2006 season, showed speed and determination throughout. Albers commented, "As a driver I always drive to the maximum, but in 2006 I could not when always show the best I could do. I've worked closely with the team over the winter to help highlight the areas we need to improve and I'm pretty confident that in the second half of the year we'll start to see the improvements. Having Mike on board and additional resources shows everyone we're serious about progressing. There's already been some exciting developments and we'll start seeing even more over the second half of the year."
Albers will be joined by Adrian Sutil in the driver line-up. Sutil competed in the F3 EuroSeries alongside McLaren's British driver Lewis Hamilton in 2002 and won the 2003 Japanese Formula 3 title. The 24-year-old German completed Friday testing duties with the team in 2006 and looks forward to his first Grand Prix start in Australia, "It's a great feeling. For sure it's very nice to be a real part of the team as a race driver. My aim is to work with the team and progress with them to the next level. I want to help develop the car more and help to go forward. I also want to learn the circuits and get to know the F1 business as much as I can. It's not just the driving, it's the pressure and the press too, but it's all a new experience so I'll take everything step by step. First, I really want to get going and get some real mileage under my belt."
The team also presented its test and reserve driver line-up for the 2007 season. Fairuz Fauzy, 24 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, competed in GP2 last season and is supported by a host of Malaysian companies. He will complete Friday duties at a selection of this year's Grands Prix. Giedo van der Garde, from Rhenen, Netherlands is graduating as an F3 Euroseries race winner to be a test and Friday driver, while Adrian Valles from Alicante, Spain, runner-up in the 2005 World Series by Renault championship and GP2 contender, and Markus Winkelhock will be the test and development drivers for the season. Winkelhock remains with Spyker for a further season after impressing in the 2006 Friday sessions.
The team's preparations for the season continue tomorrow with an exclusive two-day shakedown at Silverstone. The 17-race season will get underway in Melbourne, Australia, from 16 - 18 March 2007.