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Christijan Albers and Spyker part company 10 Jul 2007

Christijan Albers (NED) Spyker.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 15 March 2007 Christian Albers (NED) Spyker F8-VII. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, 2 May 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

Christijan Albers will not race with the Spyker team for the remainder of the 2007 season, it was announced on Tuesday. The Dutch squad revealed the decision to terminate their current contract was taken as result of commercial difficulties caused by one of Albers’ personal sponsors.

“This has been a very difficult decision,” explained Spyker team principal Colin Kolles. “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.”

Spyker’s Formula One director Michiel Mol added: “The decision to replace Christijan is one of the hardest I have had to take since becoming involved in the team. 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.”

The team also made clear that an announcement on Albers’ replacement would be made in due course. The European Grand Prix will take place at the Nurburgring on July 22.

Albers himself revealed he was dismayed by the team’s decision. In a statement, released on his website, the Dutch driver stated that: “I would like to say that, as an athlete, I am extremely disappointed; it goes without saying that there is nothing I would rather do than finish the season racing and continue my Formula One career.”

“Personally I have tried all past season to concentrate on racing itself as much as I could. On the sports side this resulted in progress. I have tried to leave the business aspects to my advisors as much as possible. Therefore the team’s decision to terminate the cooperation with me came as an unpleasant surprise to me. It is very unfair and I very much regret that this unexpected decision will prohibit me from driving in the new Spyker B car, especially since I have put much effort and time into its development with the help of the team staff and technicians.”

Albers made his Formula One debut back in 2005 with Minardi. In 2006, he secured a race drive with the Midland-owned MF1 team and when Dutch sportscar makers Spyker took over in late 2006, he was confirmed in their 2007 driver line-up. Albers has had a difficult season this year and has retired early in four races. His best result was his 14th-place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.