It is a mark of the close competition throughout the field in Formula One this year that Spyker was pleased to have again got close to its main rivals, despite missing out on a shot at the second phase of qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Adrian Sutil and Christijan Albers were just over two seconds from pole position and under a second from making Q2, the performance following on from the third free practice session, where both drivers were just over a second from the top ten. Looking purely at grid positions, however, there was little change for the team, with Sutil and Albers ending the day in 21st and 22nd places respectively.

"Although we qualified both cars on the back row, it's probably true to say that today has been our most competitive of the season," chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne claimed, "In both free practice and qualifying, we were just two seconds off the pace, which shows just how competitive F1 is at the moment.

"Both drivers were quite happy with the car, although they did find less grip in qualifying this afternoon. We are quite close to a big group in front and, as it's usually an incident-packed race, we have to see if, through a decent strategy, we can pick up a good result."

Both drivers completed two runs on the supersoft Bridgestone tyres in the disrupted first segment of qualifying, with Sutil mounting a spirited attempt to break out of the bottom six as the order cycled rapidly in the final moments.

'Yesterday, we went a little bit in the wrong direction on set-up, but today was so much better," the German reported, "I do feel a bit disappointed though as it's never nice to be second last.

"We knew that this would be a difficult race, with the long straights and the kerbs, but all the field is so close together and there are only two seconds to pole. We are normally better over the longer distances, and 70 laps is a long race. One of my strengths is to do consistent lap times, so I hope we will be good tomorrow."

Albers reported opposite fortunes to his team-mate, who had to learn the track on day one, and reckoned that a handling imbalance and brake problems combined to thwart his qualifying ambitions.



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