Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars, looks forward to the first full season in Formula One of the Spyker F1 Team. Today, the new team presented their 2007 challenger, the F8-VII at Silverstone. Here follows the interview with Victor Muller.
"I’m now four months into my new ‘career’ and I have really enjoyed it. From the outside looking in it’s the most attractive, competitive and sexy sport and that is all true when you get inside. It really is as glamorous and competitive as it looks; there’s certainly no deception there."Why did you want to become involved in the sport?
"The tipping point was the major change in the sporting regulations so smaller teams could compete, things were now more equal between the big and the small outfits. F1 is now definitely a sport for smaller teams rather than a financial black hole – with these changes, it should be realistic for a small team to do well."What you hope to achieve from the project as Spyker?
"First and foremost I want the Spyker name to be associated with success. We want to be competitive, it’s our mission. We’re not in F1 just to be there, we want to win. Moreover the exposure we get from the sport will have a very positive effect on the brand and our sales. If you are competitive in motorsport, it generates massive brand awareness."How does your role as CEO of Spyker Cars fit in with Michiel and Colin’s Formula 1 roles?
"It’s very clear that as the chief executive officer and a member of the board of Spyker Cars N.V that I see this as a project to raise awareness and profile of the brand. F1 obviously plays a major role in our strategy as a company, but I don’t need to get involved in the day to day dealings of the team. Michiel’s role as the Director of F1 is to raise the commercial profile of the team, while Colin, as team principal, has to ensure that the team functions well on an operational level and take strategic decisions."Is this a long-term project for you?
"We know that we’re not going to see overnight results here. It’s not going to be a short turn around and we have to be realistic about what we can achieve. You cannot change a team in a year, you cannot expect to have podiums in our first season. We have to manage those expectations; we want to aim for points in the latter part of the year. For us, 2007 will be a transition year as we’re laying the foundations for 2008. We’ll see Mike Gascoyne’s influence start to kick in mid-season so the real results of our involvement won’t be seen until next year."Source Spykerf1