The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has secured its most competitive finish yet in today's 44 lap Belgian Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil had a strong drive to move through the field to 14th position, five positions up on his grid slot, while Sakon...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has secured its most competitive finish yet in today's 44 lap Belgian Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil had a strong drive to move through the field to 14th position, five positions up on his grid slot, while Sakon Yamamoto finished in 17th position to give the team its second consecutive double finish with the new B-spec car.
Adrian had a flying start to end the first lap in 15th position. Over the next three laps he then passed Liuzzi, Button and then Trulli to move into 12th, just a second from the Red Bull of David Coulthard. Despite pushing hard over the following 11 laps Adrian could not find a way past. A pit stop dropped him back down to 18th but by his second and final stop was back to the position. Adrian finished the race a fighting 14th position, just three seconds from the 13th placed Honda of Rubens Barrichello.
Sakon Yamamoto also drove a solid race, but unfortunately was not able to take advantage of the softer Bridgestone Potenza tyre option used on his first stint. He struggled with understeer, but following a balance change and switch to harder tyre in his first stop could push much more and stay with the Aguris. He secured 17th position at the finish.
The team will now return to its Silverstone base before heading to the Far East for a double header in Japan and China in two weeks.
"This is the first time I am smiling after getting out of the car! It was a good race and every lap there were cars in front and behind that I was racing so I had to really push, but also defend. It was a great feeling, especially the first run, which was crazy - I could take one car after another and got up to 12th before the first pit stop. We didn't have any trouble in the stops, everything went very smoothly, and I think 14th place with the B-spec car is very good."
"From the start I really pushed as I could set the same pace as the other drivers, but I had a soft tyre that gave a a lot of understeer. On my first stop we went to the harder tyre and made a wing change so the car became much better balanced and I could push for the rest of the race distance. It was a good result and I think we can be pleased as this weekend we have shown how much we can do with the B-spec. The next race in Fuji will be my home Grand Prix so I am now really looking forward to racing there."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"Obviously a very pleasing and competitive race for us, so well done to everyone in the team. Adrian drove a storming race, especially on his first stint, and if he had been able to get past the one-stopping cars I think we would have been able to finish one or two places further up. But overall I think it's good to be racing and overtaking some of the works teams and, as a small team and a true constructor, I think we can be very proud of what we have done today."
Colin Kolles, team principal and managing director:
"I am very pleased to see that we are now making real progress and are able to compete with the cars around us. Adrian had an excellent race to 14th position and Sakon did a very solid job in only his fourth race for the team. I think we can now look forward to the last three races of the year."
14th, 1:21:15.180 (+1 lap)
Fastest lap: 1:50.902
17th: 1:21:58.817 (+1 lap)
Fastest lap: 1:51.648