Winkelhock eyes struggling Albers’ seat

Mon, 23 April 2007, 09:57

Christijan Albers’ race seat at Spyker could be in doubt, according to reports in the specialist German press.

‘Sport Bild’ says that the squad’s 26-year-old reserve driver, Markus Winkelhock, is first in line to replace Albers, after the Dutchman struggled to match the pace of his rookie teammate Adrian Sutil in the opening races of 2007.

Team boss Colin Kolles confirmed: “Markus is our spare driver. He will race if one of our regular drivers is not able to, for whatever reason.

“We have full confidence in him and we know what he can do.”

Kolles’ apparent frustration with Dutchman Albers, who brings substantial financial backing to the team, is thought to have been intensified at Sepang, where he apparently hid a stomach infection for fear that reserve driver Winkelhock would race and impress his bosses.

It is reported that Albers has been given only the Spanish grand prix next month to up his game or relinquish the ride for the rest of the season to Germany’s Winkelhock.

He told Sport Bild: “I am training hard and will be completely ready if the team needs me.”

Kolles would not confirm that Albers’ seat is in jeopardy, but he did admit that Winkelhock has been scheduled to test the car in the near future at Paul Ricard in France.

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