The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team put in some productive work today at the 4.563km Fuji Speedway, Japan, ending the day with Adrian Sutil inside the top ten in the first session, just over one second from the morning's fastest time, and...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team put in some productive work today at the 4.563km Fuji Speedway, Japan, ending the day with Adrian Sutil inside the top ten in the first session, just over one second from the morning's fastest time, and 16th in the afternoon.
Despite this being the first time in 30 years that Formula One cars have been driven in anger at the circuit, both Spyker drivers have prior racing knowledge of the circuit from junior motorsport formulae. As such, the team was able to push on with its programme of gathering mechanical data to evaluate set-up and tyre selection.
Fuji specialist Adrian Sutil used his experience to the full to set the ninth fastest time of the morning, the first time a Spyker has finished in the top 10 fastest times since Monaco back in May. Sakon's morning session was however brought to a premature end when he pulled off the track with an engine problem. The Japanese driver, competing in his second 'home' Grand Prix, completed 17 laps.
Adrian concentrated on longer runs in the afternoon and again impressed by setting the 16th fastest time. Sakon ended the day as the fastest Japanese driver as he secured 21st position, just 1.5secs from the top ten.
"It was very much a normal day. The track is very good and it's a lot of fun to drive here with an F1 car. This morning I had a better feeling but we have a lot to do for sure. We had some problems with the harder tyre, they just don't seem to be able to keep their temperature or suit the track conditions. The softer tyre seems to be better and I set my fastest laps in both the sessions on this compound. Every team needs to find a good set-up, but hopefully we can find half a second or so."
"It was the first day for my 'home' Grand Prix. In the morning I had an engine failure and had to stop, which was a bit of a shame as it was the first time we had run here and we wanted to put in as much mileage as possible. But in the afternoon I think we did quite a good job as it all went to plan and I think we have some good data for tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"A very productive day with both cars. Sakon lost a little bit of time in the morning session with an engine problem but apart from that we had no real issues. The new aero parts we brought over here seem to be working well and we seemed to have taken another step forward in comparison to the teams around us. I hope we can look forward to a very good weekend."
FP1: 9th, 1:20.516 (29 laps)
FP2: 16th, 1:20.736 (37 laps)
FP1: 22nd, 1:20.516 (17 laps)
FP2: 21st, 1:21.305 (38 laps)