There have been a lot of rumours lately about the future of Christijan Albers and Spyker confirmed on July 10th that the team has decided to end its contract with the Dutch driver, effective immediately. Both Albers and teammate Adrian Sutil have...
There have been a lot of rumours lately about the future of Christijan Albers and Spyker confirmed on July 10th that the team has decided to end its contract with the Dutch driver, effective immediately. Both Albers and teammate Adrian Sutil have faced criticism from the team due to errors in races but according to Spyker the split with Albers was finally decided by financial issues.
"This has been a very difficult decision," team principal Colin Kolles said in a statement. "Christijan has started to find some form in the car, but the team's ambitious development programme has been seriously compromised by non-payment by one of his sponsors and we are faced with no other option."
Previously with Minardi, Albers joined MF1 Racing for the start of 2006. Neither he nor the team scored points last season but that's not unexpected with a small outfit. No points have been scored to date in 2007 for the same team under the name of Spyker, the Dutch sports car company that took over from MF1 and is rumoured to be in financial difficulties itself.
Kolles and chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne have both been quite verbal about Albers and Sutil making mistakes, the latest of which was when Albers exited the pit lane during the French Grand Prix with the fuel hose still attached to the car. However, Spyker director of Formula One Michiel Mol insisted that financial considerations were the reason.
"The decision to replace Christijan is one of the hardest I have had to take since becoming involved in the team," said Mol. "By terminating the contract with Christijan and the subsequent entering into a new contract it enables Spyker F1 Ltd. to safeguard its strong financial footing needed to fulfil its technical and commercial goals. We do not expect this will have any adverse effect on Spyker F1's financial result this year."
"We would also like to stress this decision has nothing to do with Christijan's recent performances -- we still have faith in his contribution as a driver -- but the long-term future of the team is of paramount importance. We would like to thank Christijan for his input and wish him every success in the future."
There was no mention of who might replace Albers in time for the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring on July 22nd, except that an announcement would be made in due course. Honda test driver Christian Klien is rumoured to be a candidate for the vacancy, as is Spyker tester Markus Winkelhock. Meanwhile, Albers is allegedly surprised by the situation and is hoping for further talks with the team.