Q&A with Spykers Sakon Yamamoto 23 Aug 2007
Sakon Yamamotos first race with Spyker in Hungary was a short-lived affair, the Japanese driver spinning out early on. Three weeks on and with a B-spec F8-VII at his disposal, Yamamoto is hoping for better things at Istanbul Park, where last year he out-qualified Super Aguri team mate Takuma Sato
Q: Now two weeks on from your Spyker debut in Hungary, how would you review this weekend?
Sakon Yamamoto: As the Hungarian Grand Prix was my first time with the team, and the first time I had driven a Formula One car since I decided to go back to GP2, I needed to learn the car and get to know the people involved. It was good for me, first of all I really appreciated everyone's work to support me, and I was happy with the progress I made. I didn't feel any issues when I stepped into the team, everyone is very professional and knows what they should do, which made it very easy to concentrate on my job.
Q: How did you find the F8-VII?
SY: We know we have issues on the car that we have to improve but generally I didn't get any strange feelings from the car and I felt it was basically good. I'm now looking forward to the B spec.
Q: You said you had a bit of discomfort in the car in Hungary, have you made any changes to feel more comfortable?
SY: Of course every time I drive a new car, whether Formula One, Formula Three or GP2, the seat fit is very important, but it takes time to get it right. We tried to have the best seat possible before going to Hungary but after we ran, we knew we would have to make some small modifications so after the race I came to Silverstone to make a new seat, which should help in Turkey.
Q: How have you spent the break between Hungary and Turkey?
SY: I went back to Japan for a few days to catch up with friends and family and then went to the factory to have a seat fitting. The team also shook down the B-spec car in Silverstone, although I didn't drive.
Q: How has the reaction been back at home in Japan?
SY: Everyone was very happy and told me congratulations, you've now got to do your best to get the best result in your career. Everyone cheered me very strongly, which is a good help for me.
Q: You've raced at the Istanbul circuit before. How do you find the track?
SY: Last year was the first time I had raced in Turkey when I ran with Super Aguri. On Friday I got used to the track and the racing line, then in qualifying I was in front of Takuma (Sato), so it was an amazing result for me at that time as I had just joined the team and it was only my third race in F1. Unfortunately though I made a mistake in turn one after the pit stop and didn't finish. There was a safety car, I pushed and the lap times were really good but in trying to catch up and stay in front of the others, I made a mistake. This time I will try and push but not make a mistake. I made one in Hungary, that's finished now!
Q: You did push hard in Hungary though and many in the team were impressed with your approach.
SY: I got quite close to Adrian (Sutil) in qualifying, which I was pleased with as I think Adrian has a very good level with his driving, so his time is always the target. I first tried to be as close to him, but I just tried to push and use the car potential 100 percent. I don't know exactly how much we can improve with the new car, but my target now is going to Q2.