The Spyker F1 team will finally debut its new B-spec car at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, after its planned outing in Turkey two weeks ago was canned when it failed the FIA's rear impact test.

The Silverstone-based outfit completed a successful two-day test with the car last week at Monza and now Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto will get to use it for the first time in anger during practice on Friday.

Spyker F1's chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne is hopeful of a tangible improvement: "We could see an increase in our race and qualifying race pace and be up there in the mix of the midfield if everything works out," he predicted.

"We would like to think the update could see us competing with people around us and when you're in that position anything can happen.

"This is just the start and there are many areas of the car we will revisit - there is a lot more to come from this team."

Asked if it was a wise use of resources though, for a small team to bring out a new car so late in the season, Mike added that it was definitely necessary.

"We could have produced updates for the A-spec car but these would have been fairly minor compared to the step we hope to make now," he continued.

"It's a big update both mechanically and aerodynamically, and when you have such a major change, everything interacts with other areas, so new parts that are developed don't necessarily work with the original settings.

"Under these circumstances we decided to take the jump and bring everything in at once."

So what precisely is different compared to the A-spec car?

"There are two new main areas where the B-spec car differs to the A-spec," Gascoyne explained. "The first is mechanical, the second is aerodynamic.

"Mechanically, we have revised the rear suspension geometry, specifically replacing the rotary dampers with linear ones. The gearbox is also a new design targeted at complying with the new 2008 gearbox rules where each 'box must be used for four races.

"Although we won't be running it for four races this year, it does ensure that we can get lots of data for next year when the rules come into play. The engine installation has also been reviewed to make cooling resources lighter, more compact and much more efficient.

"The other major update is the aero package. Apart from the chassis and nosebox, every other area has been revised. The front wing flap, endplate, barge boards, sidepod inlets, radiator outlets, rear wings, floor and diffuser are all new and the bodywork has been modified, so everything apart from the monocoque and nose is new."

As for the future, Gascoyne stated that with their updated wind tunnel at Brackley ready to switch to 24 hour running imminently, the B-spec car is just the start of a major push.

"We are in the process of final commissioning of the wind tunnel and very soon it will switch onto 24 hour running. Combined with the Aerolab programme, this means the aero development will be much improved. The B-spec is just really the first step of the development process," he confirmed.

"For each subsequent race until the end of season we have updates in the pipeline leading onto a very intensive development programme over the winter and onto next year's car."

Pressed on if missing Turkey though was a set-back, Gascoyne insisted it wasn't a big deal: "Of course it was disappointing not to have the new car in Turkey, but ultimately this race would just have been an extended test session for us as we had only done a 50km shakedown beforehand. Now we have had two days' testing at the circuit where the car will make its debut this weekend," he concluded.

 

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