Having successfully passed the stringent FIA rear impact test on Tuesday, the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team’s new B-spec challenger was given its first full day of running at the Autodromo Nationale di Monza circuit, Italy, today.
Adrian Sutil completed 76 laps and more than 400km with the new car, which will now make its race debut at the Italian Grand Prix in just over a week’s time. Today’s programme focussed on familiarisation work with the new car, optimising the low-downforce set-up needed for the forthcoming race and comparisons of the hard and soft Bridgestone Potenza tyre options available for the Grand Prix.
The B-spec performed reliably throughout the day, although the programme was shortened slightly with a gearbox problem late in the afternoon and a rain shower over lunch.
Sakon Yamamoto will take over driving duties tomorrow, his first time in the new B-spec and his first-ever test day for the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team.
Dominic Harlow, chief race and test engineer "Spyker joined the Monza test a day late with Adrian Sutil driving the 'B' spec chassis for its first full circuit test. Monza requires a specific aero package of which the validation process was started today. The circuit also makes high demands on the brakes, suspension over the kerbs in the chicanes, and on the engine with long periods of hard acceleration. During the day the team gathered data on all these areas and worked on particular developments for each of the systems. In terms of our preparation for the race here in ten days time our progress looks promising and we know that there is plenty of potential in the new car."
Adrian Sutil "Today was in general quite good. We planned to do some more running but we had a small issue in the afternoon with the gearbox and lost a little time, but otherwise a good day. We worked on finding a good set-up for the race and understanding how the car behaves in low downforce configuration and also tried out the soft and harder tyres, which seemed to work well for us. It is difficult to say where we are with the new car; Monza is a very special track unlike anywhere else with less grip, but I think it was a good start."