Interview with Spyker's Michiel Mol 25 Apr 2007
After enjoying their first double finish of the season in Bahrain, Spyker are looking forward to making even more of an impression at the next round in Spain. The teams director of Formula One racing, Michiel Mol, reveals his thoughts on their performances so far and discusses the impact that new chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne has had on the squad
Q: Whats your overall feeling after these first three races? Everything has happened very quickly, and theres been no testing
Michiel Mol: I think that especially in Bahrain weve seen that weve been making a lot of progress. That was a good morale booster with the four-week break ahead of us, and we could quickly forget the weekend in Malaysia! From this moment on we are testing as much as all the other teams. Weve got a test before Barcelona, weve got an aerodynamic update in Monaco, weve got the B-spec car coming for Nurburgring, and the wind tunnel has been revamped. So a lot is happening, and that feels good.
Q: Was getting both cars to the finish in Bahrain a significant step?
MM: Yes, definitely. And our direct competition didnt do so well there! Its what we needed to do, we needed to bring two cars home, and we did. Its good for motivation, and its good for data collection.
Q: Was it frustrating to see Adrian Sutil in trouble on the first lap again?
MM: I dont really know what happened, but he was just behind Button and Speed, and I dont think he could avoid them. But Im very happy that they managed to repair the car, and he was able to finish after all. And he did some pretty consistent lap times, and thats more important than position at the moment.
Q: Everyone is talking about McLarens Lewis Hamilton, but do you think Sutil has been doing a good job for a rookie?
MM: I think so. After three races hes clearly shown himself to be a fast and consistent driver, and you almost dont notice any more that its his rookie year, and the tracks hes racing on hes never been to before. Hes doing an excellent job, and lets hope that we have a good and positive fight between him and Christijan (Albers) on the track. The only thing they mustnt do is hit each other - Mike Gascoyne has made that very clear to them!
Q: Are you hoping to see a big step forward in Spain?
MM: Probably well see smaller steps at first, and the B-spec car at Nurburgring will be the big step. Weve managed to bring that along a bit earlier, so thats good. We have to wait and see of course, but it looks very good, and we now know that what we achieve in the wind tunnel has the same effect on the real car, so we know that the update will have a positive influence. So all together, Im pretty satisfied.
Q: Are you pleased with the way both the cars and the team look this season?
MM: Definitely. It was especially important in Bahrain, when the big guys from Abu Dhabi were there! When you walked into our garage it was really professional, and definitely up to the standard of the top teams.
Q: Have you noticed Gascoynes influence, especially in terms of him encouraging everyone to push even harder?
MM: Hes been doing that, and I think hes been respected tremendously. And I think for good reason, because hes shown over and over in the past what he can do for a team. He really makes the guys even more motivated than they were already, and hes taught them a lot. Its fantastic to have him around.