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Winkelhock to make race debut with Spyker this weekend 18 Jul 2007

Markus Winkelhock (GER) Spyker Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 Markus Winkelhock, Spyker, Silverstone, March 6, 2007. © Spyker (L to R): Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker with Markus Winkelhock (GER) Spyker Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, United States Grand Prix, Practice Day, Indianapolis, USA, Friday, 15 June 2007

Spyker have confirmed that their German reserve driver, Markus Winklehock, will make his Formula One race debut with the team in this weekend’s European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

Winkelhock temporarily steps into the seat left vacant by Christijan Albers, who parted company with Spyker last week after contractual difficulties. The team have yet to confirm who will partner their other race driver, Adrian Sutil, for the rest of the season.

“Obviously it’s a dream come true” said Winklehock. “I haven’t had much time in the car this year but I’m physically and mentally prepared. It’s a one-off opportunity at the moment and I will make the most of it.”

Spyker team principal Colin Kolles added: “I am pleased to be able to reward Markus for his patience and loyalty to the team over the last 18 months with his F1 debut at the Nurburgring. It’s very much a one-off race at the moment as we need some more time to decide who will be Adrian’s partner for the rest of the year.”

Winkelhock, 27 and from Stuttgart, is the son of the late Formula One and sports car racer Manfred Winkelhock. He made four Friday practice appearances for Spyker (then Midland) last year and was named an official test driver ahead of the 2007 season. This year he has also continued to compete in the DTM touring car series in his home country.

Speculation over who will get the full-time Spyker race seat has focused on Honda tester and ex-Red Bull racer Christian Klien, who made his test debut with the Dutch team at Spa last week.