The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team's disappointing Chinese Grand Prix weekend came to a similarly frustrating finish today at the Shanghai International Circuit. The heavy typhoon-like rain conditions the team had expected never ultimately...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team's disappointing Chinese Grand Prix weekend came to a similarly frustrating finish today at the Shanghai International Circuit. The heavy typhoon-like rain conditions the team had expected never ultimately materialised and, with a full wet set-up, both Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto's races were compromised from the start.
Both started on extreme wet Bridgestone Potenza tyre options to tackle the monsoon-like rain predicted to fall within minutes of the start, but when only a light shower emerged, the pair changed to standard wet tyres. As the humidity and temperature increased, the track started to dry out and, at the back of the field with risks worth taking, the team changed Adrian and Sakon to the dry option tyres.
For Adrian this risk was a little too great as he spun off at a wet last corner into the barriers on lap 24. Sakon changed back to wets until the rain abated and he switched back to dry. With no hope of making up any positions, Sakon concentrated on bringing the car home, finally finishing 17th.
"For sure this was a disappointing weekend. We took some risks with the weather, starting first on extreme wet tyres. We were hoping for a lot more rain, but ultimately it didn't come and we changed to the wets. It was very difficult to drive, but we carried on until the second pit stop for the dry tyres. It turned out to be too early and then the rain started again."
"It was just the wrong moment to change to dry and tough to drive and suddenly at the last corner the car just went straight on and into the barriers. We all have to forget this one though and now look to Brazil. There are good races and bad races, and this was just one of those bad ones."
"At the end of the day we can say we made some mistakes over tyre choice, but nobody knows how it will go and you just have to take the risks. If it works out, then it will be a success and if not, a very tough race. One positive thing was that I could again finish and, even with four tyre changes in mixed conditions the crew did very well. We have now just got to look to Brazil, one of my favourite tracks, and just give a good race to end the season."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"We took a gamble to start on the extreme wets with heavy rain predicted, but the rain never really materialised. We then had to change to the standard wets and, from that moment on, it was always going to be a case of getting it to the flag. Unfortunately we then changed to drys, but after a few laps it started to rain again and Adrian just got caught out. Sakon did a good job to get the car to the finish in difficult conditions, but I think that we can all say that this is one race to definitely forget."
Colin Kolles, team principal and managing director:
"This was a tough race to call with the expected heavy rain ultimately never coming. We have usually been right with strategy calls in similarly difficult conditions, but this time the risks didn't pay off, however when you start at the back of the grid, there is everything to gain and the risks are always worth taking. Although it didn't work out this time, there is always one race to go where I hope we can put on a better show."
DNF: Lap 24, Accident
Fastest lap: 1:47.603
17th: 1:39:13.633 (+3 laps)
Fastest lap: 1:40.764