Monday, July 2, 2007

Spyker was crying

Spyker Formula's disappointing French Grand Prix weekend came to a similarly frustrating conclusion today in Magny-Cours. Adrian Sutil finished in 17th position, two laps down from winner Kimi Raikkonen, while Christijan Albers retired on lap 28 when he pulled away from a pit stop with the fuel hose still attached to his car.

Despite starting in the T-car following an electrical problem on the grid, Adrian Sutil provided the one highlight for the team when he set lap times close to those of the top six early on in the race. A drivethrough penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit however put him back to the end of the field and out of contention. A radio problem just before Adrian's first pit stop meant both he and Christijan pitted on the same lap. The Spyker crew did an outstanding job to refuel and change Adrian's tyres before Christijan arrived, but the Dutchman exited the box while the lollipop was still down and the hose still connected to the car. Fortunately no one was injured in the incident. With the British Grand Prix just one week away, the team now returns to its base just across from Silverstone Circuit to focus on bettering this weekend's performance. "This was for sure not the perfect race," said Sutil. "We had an electrical problem at the start and I had to change to the T-car, but after I had got used to it I could go faster and faster and the lap times were competitive. Unfortunately then I got a drivethrough penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit and dropped down. I will go through and check everything, but in the end we were just not fast enough this weekend and couldn't race any cars. It is disappointing, but hopefully in Silverstone it will be much better."Christijan Albers commented, "From today I think the most important thing is that the guys were OK and nobody was hurt in the accident. The first stint was quite OK at the beginning but then I got a lot of oversteer and the balance changed a little bit. I think I just made a mistake in the pits, I thought the lollipop was going up. It was quite chaotic as Adrian had just been in the pits, but more on my side and I just drove away. I am pleased that the guys are OK; this is the first time in my life that this has happened, and hopefully the last."Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer added, "First of all well done to everyone in the pit crew who did a fabulous job. Obviously this was a very difficult race. We had an electrical problem at the start of the race on Adrian's car and he had to start in the spare. During the first stint the pace was not too bad, especially with Adrian who managed to pass his team-mate and set some very competitive lap times. Unfortunately we had a radio problem on Adrian's car, which meant we couldn't get in contact with him and he came in a lap early on the lap we had called Christijan in. The crew did a tremendous job to service both cars and Christijan would have lost very little time as a result, but he made a mistake and drove off when the lollipop was still down and the fuel hose was still attached. It was obviously a very dangerous situation and this sort of thing shouldn't have happened. Unfortunately Adrian then got a drivethrough penalty, but when in clean air our pace was much better than we showed in Qualifying yesterday. As a team we now have to make sure we eliminate mistakes and perform at a much higher level."

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