The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has finished the opening race of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship in Melbourne, Australia, with Adrian Sutil in 17th position. Christijan Albers retired from the race on lap 10 when he went off...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has finished the opening race of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship in Melbourne, Australia, with Adrian Sutil in 17th position. Christijan Albers retired from the race on lap 10 when he went off the road into a gravel trap.
Christijan had started the race from the pitlane in the spare car but pushed hard to get to 20th position by the end of the first lap. The 27-year-old Dutchman put in a series of quick laps to close on the cars in front, but disappointingly his race came to a premature end when he missed a braking point into turn three and ran wide into a gravel trap and into the barriers.
Formula 1 debutant Adrian Sutil had a good start off the line, but dropped back to the rear of the field when he clashed with Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson through the first corner. Relegated to the back of the field, Adrian fought hard to get back ahead of Briton Davidson and close in on the pack in front, however his charge was halted when he was handed a drivethrough penalty on lap 22 for failing to observe blue flags. Unfortunately, on leaving the pit lane, Adrian made a rookie error and crossed the white line at the exit of the pit lane, bringing on a second drivethrough penalty.
Relegated to the rear of the field, Adrian put in some competitive lap times to edge back closer to Davidson and the rest of the field, but the gap to the pack in front was too great and he finished the race in 17th position, two laps down from eventual race winner Kimi Raikkonen.
"I got a good start and made up a few places, but I had the coming together with Davidson and dropped back. When I did get some free space I found I could push the car and was running similar times to the group in front, but I was disappointed to have the two drivethrough penalties in the mid point of the race. I guess it's down to experience and I can only get better."
"I started the race in the spare car as I wasn't happy with the balance of my race car after Qualifying. I had a good start and put in some fast times in the first ten laps, but unfortunately I made a mistake and went off the road. It's a shame for the team but we can only improve on this performance in Malaysia."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"Our target for the race was to get two cars to the finish and obviously we didn't make that. Christijan was pretty competitive during his opening stint but unfortunately he made a mistake that ended his race."
"Adrian too set some competitive lap times however made a couple of errors that earned him drivethrough penalties, which dropped him back into traffic and then the gap was too much to make up. Fortunately you only do your first race once and now he's got all his rookie mistakes out of the way."
"Now we look forward to Malaysia, where we'll be making some significant aero updates and hope we can be much more competitive."
Colin Kolles, team principal and managing director:
"We can be quite positive about the weekend. Adrian and Christijan did a good job with the times they set in the race and showed that we are closer to the others in race trim than we are in Qualifying. We know we have to work on ultimate Qualifying pace, but we can improve in Malaysia."
Adrian Sutil (car 20):
(56 laps, + 2 laps)
Christijan Albers (car 21):
RET, lap 10 (accident)