Spyker launches first F1 car

The new Spyker Formula One team introduced its race car for the 2007 championship Monday, aiming to improve reliability and performance after a poor season under former owner Midland.

The F8-VII car features Ferrari engines, and Spyker's design team has changed the shape of the car by reducing the keels and altered the design of the gear box.

Dutch sports car maker Spyker bought Midland late last year. Midland owner Alex Shnaider had bought Jordan before the 2005 season and renamed the team, but it didn't win a single point last season.

"We know that the first half of the season could be challenging for the team, but with the stability that Spyker has brought with it, we've got a real direction and focus now," team chief Colin Kolles said.

Spyker recruited Mike Gascoyne as its chief technical officer and he plans to produce an improved car later in the year.

"As a team, we're looking at planning for the future through a more structured approach," Gascoyne said.

Driver Christian Albers said he was impressed by the changes to the car.

"I've worked closely with the team over the winter to help highlight the areas we need to improve and I'm pretty confident that in the second half of the year we'll start to see the improvements," Albers said.

Albers will be joined by Adrian Sutil, who will make his F1 debut this season, replacing Tiago Monteiro. Sutil test drove three times for the team in 2006.

"I'm not nervous at all," he said, reports AP.

Spyker also named Malaysia's Fairuz Fauzy as its test driver for this season. Fauzy competed in GP2 last season. Giedo van der Garde will be a test driver and compete in Friday practice sessions, while Adrian Valles and Markus Windelhock with be the test and development drivers.

The 17-race F1 season starts in Melbourne, Australia on March 18.

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