Honda F1 website

JULY 17, 2007

Winkelhock and Spyker

The Spyker team is expected to announce shortly that it is going to be running Germany's Markus Winkelhock at the German Grand Prix. The team may then switch to run Narain Karthikeyan for the rest of the year. The question is really not to do with which is the best available driver but rather who can bring the most money.

Financing the team is proving to be something of a problem because of the complex nature of the funding of the parent company Spyker Cars NV.

This is currently undergoing a major financial restructuring with the most recent development, a month ago, being a deal for an additional $20m in loans: $14m from Abu Dhabi's Mubabdala holding company and an additional $6m from Strongwind, a company that is owned by the Mol Family. These loans have been secured with the shares of Spyker Racing Holding, the parent company of the racing team.

Despite this Spyker Cars shares have fallen almost 60% in value in the last 12 months and there are fears that there could be trouble in September when the company is due to make a $15m payment, as part of the deal to buy the F1 team from Midland last year. A further payment of $23m is due in September 2008.

The good news for the team is that the B-version of the F8VII car will be seen for the first time in Turkey in August and the team hopes that this will enable it to catch up with the rest of the F1 pack and perhaps, even, to be able to score some points before the end of the year.