Q & A WITH GRAHAM TAYLOR, SPORTING DIRECTOR, SAF1 TEAM
Q: The most significant change for trackside operations in 2007 comes in the form of understanding the new control Bridgestone Potenza tyres. How has the team adapted during winter testing?
Graham Taylor: I believe we have made a very solid start in understanding and getting the most from the 2007 Bridgestone Potenza tyres. Super Aguri F1 Team was able to achieve a very strong relationship with Bridgestone during is first year and we are reaping the rewards of this now.
Q: What adjustments have been needed to get the most from the tyres?
GT: There are many set-up changes that a modern F1 car holds within its arsenal and all of these have been explored during our winter testing program. The playing field has been flattened by the introduction of a single tyre manufacturer for F1 and SAF1 Team hopes to capitalise on this.
It would be remise of me to detail those settings that benefit and others that do not, but I feel that our Engineering staff have a good understanding of how to maximise the abilities of this year's tyre. However with the tyres effectively now controlled I predict the gap from the front to the back of the grid will foreshorten to 2.0 seconds.
Q: The sporting regulations also allow for a third car to be run on Friday, which is now considered a test day. What will this change in the team's operations?
GT: Our philosophy does not change, we will endeavour to push forward as much as possible. The new regulations actually restrict the number of cars to two rather than the three we were able to employ in 2006. The extra track time on Friday is extremely useful to smaller teams such as ourselves and we will utilise to the best of our abilities.
Q: What are your expectations for SAF1 Team's performance?
GT: I am expecting the performance levels to take a natural step forward. Please be reminded that SAF1 Team is still only 15 months old, but we are ambitious and we wish to compete with teams further toward the front of the grid. We are targeting achieving our first World Championship point and when we accomplish this it will be a momentous time for Aguri and his little Team.
-credit: super aguri