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Adrian Sutil's learning curve for Spyker 12 Apr 2007

Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 5 April 2007 Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 6 April 2007 Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII retired from the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 8 April 2007 Anthony Davidson (GBR) Super Aguri F1 SA07 and Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII tangle at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2007 Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII goes wide.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 16 March 2007

When you come into Formula One racing it’s a tough learning curve. Everything is new, from the car to the engineers to the media interest but, so far, Spyker driver Adrian Sutil has been taking everything in his stride. Despite having only driven at a handful of the circuits before, Sutil has proved he is a very quick learner.

“You might think I’d be at a disadvantage as at most tracks I have no prior knowledge,” explained Sutil to Spyker’s official website. “I’d never driven at Melbourne and, again, Sepang was another completely new circuit for me. Although it does take a bit of time to get used to it, I didn’t have any problems over there or in Australia, so I’m quite pleased.”

Learning a track so quickly means Sutil has had more opportunity to maximise set-up and balance of his race car in the practice sessions. This extra time was essential in Malaysia, where the team introduced a new aero package without the luxury of participating in the four-day test at the circuit the week before.

“We lost four days of testing here, and to play catch up, it’s even harder,” said Sutil. “It’s more difficult than just putting the update on because we need to adjust the whole car. The balance changes, and it’s not so easy to find the right way to make it work straight away.”

Things can only get better, he believes. “In general it will not be easy, but I think we will get more out of the car this time round in Bahrain as we don’t have to make the basics work. We will be closer to showing our potential.”

After the hard work put in over the weekend in Sepang, it was therefore disappointing that Sutil’s Malaysia debut lasted for just one lap. “My start in Malaysia was good,” explained the German. “I was on the outside for the first corner, and I passed some guys, and I was right behind Button for the next corners, so I tried to attack.

“It seems that I had a problem under braking. I wanted to brake for the fourth corner, and suddenly I lost all control of the car and in the end I touched Button a little bit. My rear tyre was ripped out, and I had a little spin and went in the gravel but I didn’t touch the wall or anything, luckily.”

This time out in Bahrain, Sutil is hoping that he has an uninterrupted first lap, and can make good use of the blinding starts that have become his trademark. After all, he will be keen not to let his friend and former F3 team mate, Lewis Hamilton, have too much to talk about. His goal in Bahrain is however realistic.

“Just to fight and follow the other cars in front would be nice!” said Sutil. “At the moment in qualifying we’re quite far behind, but in the races I think we can race some other cars.”