The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has concluded the first day of its three day test programme at the Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain. Giedo van der Garde covered 37 laps in the morning, recording a best complete...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has concluded the first day of its three day test programme at the Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain. Giedo van der Garde covered 37 laps in the morning, recording a best complete lap time of 1:24.99secs as he focussed on evaluating hydraulic systems and the hard and medium Bridgestone Potenza tyres in advance of next week's Spanish Grand Prix, to be held at the same circuit from 11 to 13 May.
Spaniard Adrian Valles took over from Giedo in the slightly cooler, overcast conditions after lunchtime, and put in a series of longer stints to record a best of 1:23.72secs. His day was however brought to a premature end on his final run when he ran wide at turn three and crashed heavily into the barriers. Although uninjured himself, Adrian's car however sustained heavy damage in the impact and technicians will work to repair the car for Adrian Sutil tomorrow, who is due to take over driving duties.
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"Our two test drivers did a good job today, however the day was unfortunately spoilt by the accident at the end of the day when Adrian had an off in turn three. It looks as though he had a problem with the car through turn one and then lost control through three. Thankfully he is fine, but the car is quite damaged. Hopefully we'll be able to get it going again for tomorrow and continue the programme with Adrian Sutil."
Giedo van der Garde:
"This morning we concentrated on testing tyres and hydraulics, and got lots of useful data. We had some problems with the hard tyres, which didn't give a lot of grip on the cooler track, but with the medium tyres it was a lot better."
"From the last time I was in the car back in Valencia in February to now, you can definitely feel the improvement in the car and I can tell I have improved too. The track was very slippery after the rain yesterday, so it did take me a while to get up to speed again with the car but I got a good rhythm towards the end of the laps. It's great to be back in the car.'
"This afternoon we continued the work on hydraulics and tyres and I think we made some progress. The lap times were good, considering the tyres were old, and we could do some pretty consistent times."
"Of course I am not happy about the accident - I don't know what happened in turn one; the car moved and then I thought I'd take it easy to get to the garage, but then the car came away in turn three. Overall though I think we can be reasonably positive; I was really comfortable until the lap before the crash, and enjoyed it without making any mistakes.'