The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team had its most competitive outing of the season at today's dramatic Canadian Grand Prix, but it was a case of what might have been as both cars retired before the close of the race.
Christijan Albers started from the pit lane but kept in touch with the group in front with a string of competitive lap times. The Dutchman was well-placed to take advantage of the numerous safety car periods throughout the race and, with some good strategy calls from the team, found himself as high as ninth by lap 40. Lapping a second a lap quicker than the pursuing Alex Wurz, who later finished on the podium, Christijan was able to move up the order following accidents, disqualifications and mechanical problems for other cars. The dream result did not materialise, however, as he ran wide into the wall on lap 48. When he returned to the garage for a nosecone change, technicians found the brake line had been damaged in the impact and the Dutchman was unable to continue.
Adrian Sutil was similarly putting in very competitive lap times in the first part of the race, but ran wide at turn eight on lap 22, impacting with the wall.
Adrian Sutil: 'Obviously I am very disappointed not to have finished the race. I just want to say sorry to the team as they have worked so hard all weekend and it would have been easy to have a points finish if I had not made a mistake.'
Christijan Albers: 'We have to hope that Kubica is OK as it was a huge crash. At the beginning of the race when I was fighting in the back I touched the wall a little bit, but I thought it was going to be OK and not a big issue, but then the car got more and more unbalanced as the race went on, especially the left front. Then at one moment I arrived at T8 and the car just went straight ahead into the wall. It seemed there was a problem with the wing, but obviously I am disappointed as we could have had a good finish.'
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: 'First of all we have to be grateful that Kubica is safe after the terrible accident. It was an action-packed race, and a big disappointment as we could have easily picked up some points. Adrian once again went off on his own accord - he really has to stop making this kind of mistake now if he wants to compete at this level. Christijan was running very well, but his wing came off through turn eight, which was more than likely due to damage sustained when he clipped the wall earlier on. The wing coming off then damaged the brake line, which meant he couldn't continue. Again another mistake has meant we missed out on an opportunity of a points finish, but you have to move forward and make sure that we're ready for Indy.'
Colin Kolles, team principal and managing director: 'First and foremost, we all have to hope that Robert Kubica is safe and well following his crash. For us, we really missed an opportunity here. We had a reasonable pace and could actually race other cars. We also got all our strategy calls right, but again small mistakes meant we could not capitalise on our position. Both Adrian and Christijan really need to focus on this now, learn from it and move on. We cannot let this situation happen again.'
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