Guest Author - Christine Blachford
It’s no secret that Spyker are… well… not very good. They’re constantly at the back of the grid, struggling for pace, and they’ve switched drivers a few times this season. I’m always one to support the underdog, but generally speaking, the underdog has to at least have a fighting chance.
Spyker were hoping for some improvements to their current form with a new B spec car. The introduction of the car has been delayed for several months now, but Spyker were ready to get going with it this weekend at Turkey.
Chief technical officer at Spyker, Mike Gascoyne, expected the car to shave almost an entire second of current (mostly last) times. The B spec car has had a pretty comprehensive overhaul with a new gearbox, new wings, and a new floor.
Revised models of cars have to go through rigorous FIA crash tests, to ensure that they meet specific safety requirements. Unfortunately, the new Spyker failed one of the tests on the rear crash structure, meaning it was not allowed to take to the track.
Gascoyne was surprisingly upbeat about the incident, and not overly concerned. He put the failure down to a bad batch of parts that had been used on the car and that it would most certainly past the next time. In fact, he was almost happy that at least now they would get to test the car at Monza before the race, rather than throwing the new car onto the track at Turkey and hoping for the best.
It didn’t take long though, before the next piece of Spyker related news hit the media, and it was the suspension of their chief designer. The official quote was that his “position was being currently investigated”, which doesn’t sound particularly hopeful for him. Of course, there’s no word whether it’s related to the crash test failure, but that can’t have been good for team morale or investor relations.
The car was worked on over the weekend, and passed the rear structure test at the second time of asking. Adrian Sutil took the new car to the track and joined the other teams testing at Monza. Teammate Yamamoto will be taking over testing duties for him later in the test as well. It’s too early to say whether the car will show any improvement at all, let alone the second that Gascoyne predicted, but so far it looks like the team are still languishing at the bottom of the timesheets.