Spyker F1 have today confirmed their 2007 race-driver line-up, by announcing that German driver Adrian Sutil will replace Tiago Monteiro as Christijan Alber's team-mate for the coming season. The Japanese F3 champion has signed a long-term deal with Spyker. The news comes as some surprise however, with last year's driver Tiago Monteiro expecting to be announced ever since the final round of the season in Brazil. It's likely now though that he will either settle into a test seat for 2007 or venture off to another racing series.
Sutil's career highlights include that Japanese F3 win, as well as coming runner-up to team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the European F3 series. As well as winning the Japanese series in 2006, Sutil drove in three Grand Prix Fridays for Spyker.
“I really enjoyed being in the F1 Paddock this year and to be honest I thought I would be a test driver in 2007,” said Sutil. “Colin Kolles and Michiel Mol have been fantastically patient and supportive while this package became reality. I look forward to repaying their faith in me but right now I`m just going to enjoy the best Christmas present ever.”
“This is a great signing for team but also a proud one for me personally. Adrian made his F3 debut with Team Kolles in 2004 and quite obviously had huge potential when he scored his first pole position in his third race,” commented Colin Kolles, Spyker F1 Team Principal. “He has driven for two great teams since then and matured very quickly. Everyone at Spyker was hugely impressed when he drove for us in 2006 which is why we have worked long and hard to get him in the race team.”
“Being able to sign Adrian on a long term contract is yet another strong signal of Spyker`s vision and commitment to rebuild the team around young and talented people,” said Michiel Mol, Director of Spyker Cars. “Adrian will grow with the team and will be a major asset as we target success in years to come.”
Sutil's signing bring back to four the number of German drivers on the grid, following Schumacher's retirement at the end of 2006.