Valles uninjured after Barcelona shunt
The Spyker Formula One Team concluded the first day of its three day test program at the Circuit de Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain on Monday where Giedo van der Garde covered 37 laps in the morning, recording a best complete lap time of 1:24.99secs.
Over the course of the morning he focused on evaluating hydraulic systems and the hard and medium Bridgestone Potenza tires in advance of next week's Spanish Grand Prix, to be held at the same circuit from 11 to 13 May.
'This morning we concentrated on testing tires and hydraulics, and got lots of useful data. We had some problems with the hard tires, which didn't give a lot of grip on the cooler track, but with the medium tires it was a lot better,” he said. “From the last time I was in the car back in Valencia in February to now, you can definitely feel the improvement in the car and I can tell I have improved too. The track was very slippery after the rain yesterday, so it did take me a while to get up to speed again with the car but I got a good rhythm towards the end of the laps. It's great to be back in the car.'
Meanwhile, Spaniard Adrian Valles (pictured right) took over from Giedo in the slightly cooler, overcast conditions after lunchtime, and put in a series of longer stints to record a best of 1:23.72secs. His day was however brought to a premature end on his final run when he ran wide at turn three and crashed heavily into the barriers.
Although uninjured himself, Adrian's car however sustained heavy damage in the impact and technicians will work to repair the car for Adrian Sutil on Tuesday, who is due to take over driving duties.
'This afternoon we continued the work on hydraulics and tires and I think we made some progress. The lap times were good, considering the tires were old, and we could do some pretty consistent times. Of course I am not happy about the accident - I don't know what happened in turn one; the car moved and then I thought I'd take it easy to get to the garage, but then the car came away in turn three. Overall though I think we can be reasonably positive; I was really comfortable until the lap before the crash, and enjoyed it without making any mistakes.'
'Our two test drivers did a good job, however the day was unfortunately spoilt by the accident at the end of the day when Adrian had an off in turn three,” added Mike Gascoyne. “It looks as though he had a problem with the car through turn one and then lost control through three. Thankfully he is fine, but the car is quite damaged. Hopefully we'll be able to get it going again for tomorrow and continue the program with Adrian Sutil.