Debate: Spyker should keep Winkelhock

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Markus Winkelhock, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Nurburgring, 2007Markus Winkelhock made his Grand Prix debut in yesterday’s European Grand Prix, and thanks to a heavy rain shower and some inspired race strategy he managed to lead the race for six laps.

Winkelhock is only believed to be doing one racing with the Spyker team and he is expected to be replaced at the Hungarian Grand Prix a week on Sunday, probably by Honda tester Christian Klien.

But in the light of him giving Spyker their first ever taste of leading a Grand Prix, and given that he ultimately retired because the car broke down, should Spyker give him another try?

I know I’m being an old romantic here. It was the strategic masterstroke of the Spyker team that put Winkelhock in the lead by switching him to intermediate tyres at the end of the formation lap.

But still the German, in his home event and despite never having driven an F1 car in the wet before, led the race until it was red-flagged. He held the lead for six laps – more than Fernando Alonso, who won.

Yes, his practice pace wasn’t impressive and he qualified last, 1.44s slower than team mate Adrian Sutil.

But it’s not like fielding another driver at the next race is suddenly going to turn Spyker into McLaren. I want to see them give him another try.

Photo: Spyker F1 | Peter J. Fox/

Related links