Spyker announced on July 26th that Sakon Yamamoto will race for the team for the remainder of the season alongside Adrian Sutil. Yamamto made his F1 debut as Jordan test driver in Japan in 2005 then was signed as tester for Super Aguri in mid-2006.
Spyker announced on July 26th that Sakon Yamamoto will race for the team for the remainder of the season alongside Adrian Sutil. Yamamto made his F1 debut as Jordan test driver in Japan in 2005 then was signed as tester for Super Aguri in mid-2006. He competed in the last seven races of the season and has been racing in the GP2 series this year.
"I am very pleased to get the opportunity to race in Formula One again," Yamamoto said. "I know all the circuits we are going to very well, having raced at them with Aguri last year. I also know the team from my test in 2005 so I feel ready for the chance. I want to do the best I can and help the team achieve their objective of moving up the field. I'm looking forward to working with them."
Christijan Albers, who was formerly Sutil's teammate, was dropped prior to the European Grand Prix due to sponsor problems and several drivers were linked with the vacancy. Honda's Christian Klien tested for Spyker at Spa and was thought a favourite for the race seat for the remainder of the season, while Williams tester Narain Karthikeyan was also rumoured to be a possibility.
Spyker tester Markus Winkelhock was in the car in Europe, and even managed to lead the race in the treacherous conditions, but it was only a temporary situation -- both the lead and the race seat. Yamamoto was not a name that really featured in the rumour mill when Spyker was searching for a full time partner to Sutil but team principal Colin Kolles believes the 25 year-old Japanese has potential.
"We would like to welcome Sakon back to the team after a long absence," Kolles said. "He is one of the most promising young Japanese drivers who showed potential in the races he contested in 2006 and I think he and Adrian will be a complimentary pairing. Sakon's experience of the circuits we visit in the second half of the season will be a big advantage to us as we move forward."
Yamamoto made his Super Aguri competition debut at the 2006 German Grand Prix but didn't manage to finish a race until the Chinese GP, due to car failures and a couple of spins. In China he reached the chequered flag in 16th and went on to finish 17th in Japan and 16th in Brazil.