Spyker: Automotive Legends; Formula One Infants
By: Jeremy McMullen
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By: Jeremy McMullen
| In 1903, while the Wright Brothers were grabbing most of the attention with their rickety innovation that would change the world, another brother combination unveiled some innovations of their own that are also still in use today. Brothers Jacobus & Hendrik-Jan Spiker unveiled a car design chocked-full of innovations never before seen. The car boasted a, then powerful, 60hp six-cylinder engine design. This was the first six-cylinder engine car produced. Their design also included such innovations as four-wheel drive and four-wheel disc brakes.
Spyker proved from the very beginning it was accustomed to innovation, and thus, have a rich history in car manufacturing. However, while Spyker may have been the source of many of the technological innovations Formula One either currently uses or has experimented with in the past, the automobile company is virtually a newborn babe when it comes to Formula One.
Spyker first entered Formula One racing the last three races last year after purchasing Midland-F1. And though Spyker began its racing career with its MF1 chassis it was, well and truly, only a Midland M16 design. Interestingly, the M16 chassis design was only a slightly refined Jordan EJ15B design, for Midland purchased and took over the team from Jordan when the team ran into financial difficulty. Unfortunately, Midland-F1 never got to design an all new car before it needed to sell to Spyker.
One of the biggest killers of success for new teams coming into Formula One is a lack of continuity and time. A team needs to establish itself in order to collect data and precious experience. Though the MF1 had many inadequacies and was painfully slow, relatively speaking, those last few races afforded Spyker some much needed experience. The chassis served as a full-scale test-bed whereby the team would be able to make some important improvements for the coming 2007 season. And while many doubt the team will be fighting for points, this season can, nonetheless, be a successful year, poising Spyker for a strong future. All that starts for the team, they believe, with their new F8-VII.