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Spyker expecting more from Malaysia 21 Mar 2007

Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2007 Christijan Albers (NED) Spyker retires from the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2007 Mike Gascoyne (GBR) Spyker Chief Technical Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 Colin Kolles (GER) Spyker Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 17 March 2007 Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 17 March 2007

Kolles: 'We have a very positive feeling for the future'

The Australian Grand Prix was a mix of good news and bad for Spyker. The bare statistics were a bit disappointing - both cars qualified at the back, Christijan Albers posted the first retirement of the 2007 season, and a twice-penalised Adrian Sutil finished last…

The good news, however, was that the Dutch team came away certain that the new F8-VII car has a lot of potential. It was reliable throughout the weekend and in the race Sutil set some very competitive times - just 0.2s away from the Super Aguris that qualified in midfield, and only 0.5s off Jenson Button’s Honda.

“We have a very positive feeling for the future," said team principal Colin Kolles after the race. “Extremely positive, to be honest. Our problem is qualifying, and we’re not getting temperature into the tyres, or at least on this track, so we were struggling for a competitive lap time on Saturday.

“But you just have to look at Adrian’s times in the race and compare them to other cars and you’ll see that he was quite competitive.”

And there is another step coming from the team for the next round in Malaysia. “We have an update coming, and hopefully it will help,” confirmed Kolles. “In our simulations, in our wind tunnels, it looks pretty significant. We’ll see how it is on track.”

One of the big disappointments of Spyker’s Melbourne weekend was that Sutil’s race was spoiled by penalties. He got the first for a blue flag offence - although he didn’t think he had impeded anyone - and the second for crossing the white line as he left the pits.

“Thankfully he had it all in one race!” added Kolles. “He’s a very intelligent boy, and he learns very quickly, so I think this is now history. Adrian showed a very strong race as a rookie. I won’t say I was impressed or surprised by his weekend, because I know him, and this is what we expected. And we expect even more from him.”

Albers, meanwhile, had a difficult time. Unhappy with his car’s balance after qualifying, he opted to switch to the spare for the race and start it from the pit lane, which allowed him to start with a different set-up. He eventually slid off the road on lap 10.

“Christijan had a tough weekend, but Christijan is a fighter, and he’s also a fast racing driver,” added Kolles. “And he has to fight back. We made this decision to change cars because we had nothing to lose.”

The other novelty for Spyker’s weekend was the presence of chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne in the team garage, a year after his last race with Toyota. He brought with him a new, aggressive approach - developed at some of the top teams that he’s worked for - and was keen to encourage everyone along.

“We have to move forward, and I think that it’s very positive,” commented Kolles. “We have a target, and this target is very clear. We are following our line and we will see if we will succeed or not.”

Meanwhile this was the first race of a new era, and it produced a new star in Lewis Hamilton, who was Sutil’s team mate in F3.

“It was a good race, and F1 is F1, with or without Schumacher,” added Kolles. “He was a great champion, but life goes on. I’m happy for Lewis, but I’m more happy for Adrian, because we know how competitive we will be.”

Spyker are not expected to participate in next week’s multi-team test in Malaysia, choosing instead to focus on development back at their Silverstone base.