The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has completed a productive first day of the US Grand Prix, with no major mechanical problems in either free practice session. With the field very closely matched, Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil finished just two seconds off the fastest time of the day.
Christijan and Adrian put in 28 and 27 laps respectively in the first session as they focussed on tyre and set-up evaluation. Adrian experienced a spin in the dying seconds when he put a wheel on the grass and spun into the gravel trap, but with no damage sustained, was able to continue unhindered in the second session.
Despite the rapidly changing track conditions of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the duo bettered their times in the afternoon session with Christijan recording a 1:14.225 lap and Adrian less than 0.3secs behind.
Adrian Sutil: 'It was an OK day. In the morning session we tried to set up all the electronic systems and I was very happy with the set-up of the car. This afternoon we found we could not get an improvement from an old set of tyres to a new set and I did my fastest lap on the harder tyre option, so the goal for now is to understand how to get the most out of the tyres with the set-up we have.'
Christijan Albers: 'Today was a solid day trying out different set-ups and tyre options available this weekend. Everybody is really close, but we still have a small gap to make up to the other guys, so we need a push to get closer for tomorrow. As it stands, today was a good day, but it will be even better if we can get closer tomorrow.'
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: 'A reasonable first day for us, concentrating on tyre and set-up evaluation. We got through quite a lot of work, even though the track conditions evolved a lot from the morning to the afternoon. Despite the changing conditions and relative lack of grip, we had no real problems today. With the low downforce we are running the car is struggling slightly for braking stability, but apart from a spin for Adrian when he put a wheel on the grass, we had no major issues and work towards getting a decent Qualifying set-up for tomorrow.'
To check out our Indianapolis practice gallery, click here