The time between the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix has traditionally been a time for F1 personnel to head for the beaches of Asia, or spend time cruising the Australian coast. Not this year, however... Most of the field will be making...
The time between the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix has traditionally been a time for F1 personnel to head for the beaches of Asia, or spend time cruising the Australian coast. Not this year, however...
Most of the field will be making their way to the Sepang track on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to take part in a three-day test ahead of the second race of the year. The majority of the teams will be present, but not the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team, who will remain at its Silverstone base between races.
The team's decision not to participate in the test next week has been greeted with a few raised eyebrows; with just nine full test days before the start of the season, some have argued that if a team needed to test, then it was Spyker.
Chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne, disagrees. He counters that, with a major aerodynamic upgrade planned to be introduced for the Malaysian Grand Prix, the team needs the time between races to finalise its plans and transfer the components on to the race cars. The modifications, which include new barge boards, sidepod inlets, revised bodywork and a revised diffuser, have been researched and developed in Spyker's new aero facility, Aerolab.
"With the upgrades we're planning to introduce for the second race, it would not be possible to get them onto the car in time for the Sepang test," Gascoyne states. "The race cars will be shipped direct to Malaysia from Australia, but the team will be flat out modifying the cars in time for the Grand Prix."
As with any team, testing and resources need to be carefully managed and taking part in the test with the current, unmodified car would not give any clear advantages for the small team. "Participating in the Malaysia test would stretch our resources; we're a small team and we have to pay careful attention to how we allocate the budget.
"We would only run one car without the modifications for three days, but we know the track, we know the tyres and with the extra running time afforded by the Friday practice days now, we will get an opportunity to run the new bodywork before the racing starts. Missing the test will not put us at a disadvantage."
The team's next test is scheduled for 30 April -- 1 May in Barcelona, Spain.