The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has completed Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, the first European race of the season, with Adrian Sutil setting the 20th fastest time and Christijan Albers just 0.2secs behind in 21st.
After honing the set-up in the third and final practice session, both drivers were optimistic of qualifying closer to the tail end of the field, however both Christijan's runs were slowed by traffic and later an off in Turn 9 on his final flying lap. Completing two runs on the medium tyres, Christijan set a best time of 1:23.990 to start tomorrow's race on the final row of the grid.
Adrian set his fastest time on his final lap of the day on the medium Bridgestone Potenza tyres. Despite reporting reduced grip levels in the first part of the 15-minute Qualifying segment, the 24-year-old German was happier with the balance of his car as the session progressed and recorded a best of 1:23.811.
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: Both drivers had slightly less grip than in this morning's session but did a reasonable job and were happy with the balance of the car. The session really reflects where we are - we need to find a second in the wind tunnel to be in the group ahead. The good thing, however, is that the group is very competitive and if you join it you can qualify in the top ten. That's what we need to do in the second half of the season, but for now, we're just looking forward to a solid race to finish off a very solid weekend.
Adrian Sutil: With all the rubber laid down in the support races the track conditions had changed slightly and I had a lot of oversteer and lost a couple of tenths on the first outing. For the second lap, the balance and grip levels were much better for our car and I managed to get a good lap. Of course conditions may change for tomorrow again so the first 10 to 15 laps will be hard, but I want to have a clean first lap without any incidents in the first corner and hopefully stay with the other cars in front.
Christijan Albers: That was the worst Qualifying of my life with traffic. On the first outing I made some mistakes and I felt I could go quicker. Then I couldn't do much with the second outing at all because of the traffic. It didn't really matter that I went off in T9 on my final flying lap as I had already lost about seven tenths in the first sector. It's a shame as I think I could be quicker. I felt good in the car, the balance is good, we just have to hope for more tomorrow.