Adrian Sutil again pushed the revised B-Spec Spyker to punch above its weight in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, the German enjoying a return to the top ten in the morning session at Fuji.

The entire Spyker team completed productive work in the day's two 90-minute sessions, but it was Sutil's early performance - which was backed up by an equally pleasing 16th after lunch - that caught the eye, as he lapped just over a second from the fastest time set by Kimi Raikkonen.

"A very productive day with both cars," chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne confirmed, "Sakon [Yamamoto] lost a little bit of time in the morning session with an engine problem but, apart from that, we had no real issues. The new aero parts we brought over here seem to be working well and we seemed to have taken another step forward in comparison to the teams around us. I hope we can look forward to a very good weekend."

Despite Fuji not hosting a grand prix in 30 years, and undergoing a substantial overhaul in that period, both Spyker drivers have prior racing knowledge of the new layout and were able to push on with the team's programme of gathering mechanical data to evaluate set-up and tyre selection. Something of a Fuji specialist, Sutil used his experience to push the F8-VII into the top ten for the first time since Monaco back in May, before switching his attention to longer runs in the afternoon session.

"It was very much a normal day," the German said, non-plussed, "The track is very good and it's a lot of fun to drive here with an F1 car. This morning, I had a better feeling, but we have a lot to do for sure. We had some problems with the harder tyre, as they just don't seem to be able to keep their temperature or suit the track conditions. The softer tyre seems to be better and I set my fastest laps in both the sessions on this compound.

"Every team still needs to find a good set-up, but hopefully we can find half a second or so."

 

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