Spyker F1 have official unveiled their 2007 car – the F8-VII – at Silverstone earlier today. Team principal Colin Kolles revealed the new car alongside race drivers Christijan Alberts and Adrian Sutil, and the team’s test drivers. Featuring a predominantly orange livery, the car retains a few features from the old Midland M16, but is a completely new machine.
The unusual naming scheme is a reference to Spyker’s history. With the first moden Spyker, the C8 Spyder, the line was called the ‘C Line’. Their future models will be launched under the ‘E Line’ tag, so it made sense for their latest model – their Formula 1 car – to be part of the ‘F Line’. The VII (7) sub-designation is a reference to Spyker’s aviation history – the manufacturer had models which were all denoted with Roman numerals which stood for the year of the launch of the aircraft.
Spyker are planning the 2007 to be their transition year where they will start out by focusing on reliability and performance, before unveiling a B-spec car towards the end of the season.
At the unveiling, Kolles said, “We know that the first half of the season could be challenging for the team, but with the stability that Spyker has brought with it, we ve got a real direction and focus now. We know that Spyker want to make the project work, and we ve already set about making changes to turn the team around. One of the first steps was to bring in Mike Gascoyne to lead the technical team and help give the direction we need.â€
Race driver Albers is looking forward to a good year. After impressing many people with his speed and gritty determination during the 2006 season, Albers is hoping the team can improve to get some decent results in the 2007 season. “As a driver I always drive to the max,” he explained. “But in 2006 I could not when always show the best I could do. I ve worked closely with the team over the winter to help highlight the areas we need to improve and I m pretty confident that in the second half of the year we ll start to see the improvements. Having Mike on board and additional resources shows everyone we re serious about progressing. There s already been some exciting developments and we ll start seeing even more over the second half of the year.
Albers will be joined on-track by Adrian Sutil, winner of the 2003 Japanese Formula 3 title. The 24 year old was a test driver for the team in 2006 before being promoted to fully-fledged race driver for the 2007 season. “It s a great feeling,” he exclaimed. “For sure it s very nice to be a real part of the team as a race driver. My aim is to work with the team and progress with them to the next level. I want to help develop the car more and help to go forward. I also want to learn the circuits and get to know the F1 business as much as I can. It s not just the driving, it s the pressure and the press too, but it s all a new experience so I ll take everything step by step. First, I really want to get going and get some real mileage under my belt.â€
Spyker have also announced their test and reserve drivers for 2007. Fairuz Fauzy, 24, is from Kuala Lumpar. He will complete Friday testing at a handful of circuits. Giedo van der Garde is from the Netherlands and has recently been racing in the F3 Euroseries. He will be the team’s test and occasional Friday driver (if his dispute with Super Aguri is resolved). Adrian Valles and Markus Winkelhock are the test and development drivers for the season.