F1

Abu Dhabi GP: Force India Friday practice report

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01): FP1: 7th 1:44.688 (14 laps) FP2: 11th 1:42.180 (28 laps) Tonio Liuzzi (car 21, VJM02/04): FP1: 17th 1:46.239 (22 laps) FP2: 15th 1:42.530 (33 laps) 30 October 2009 - The Yas Marina circuit got its first ...

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01):
FP1: 7th 1:44.688 (14 laps)
FP2: 11th 1:42.180 (28 laps)

Tonio Liuzzi (car 21, VJM02/04):
FP1: 17th 1:46.239 (22 laps)
FP2: 15th 1:42.530 (33 laps)

30 October 2009 - The Yas Marina circuit got its first taste of Formula 1 today as the impressive facility in the heart of Abu Dhabi's newest development came alive with the first day of practice ahead of the final round of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship on Sunday.

The initial practice got underway at 13:00hrs local time owing to the later start of Sunday's race, with the 'afternoon' session kicking off at 17:00hrs. As a result drivers got the opportunity to experience the track in daylight, twilight and ultimately under the lights to get an accurate picture of expected conditions in the race.

The Force India Formula One Team had a strong start to the weekend, with Adrian Sutil setting the seventh fastest time in the morning and the 11th in the afternoon. He did however have a slightly shortened day as a brake problem emerged in the morning and lost him some time. The afternoon however was productive as he tested the two tyre compounds for the weekend and different balance options. Tonio Liuzzi used the sessions to also evaluate the set-up and aero balance of the VJM02 on the new track and recorded the 17th quickest time of the session in the morning and 15th in the afternoon.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)

The car was performing well today, although we still have some work to do to get the balance right. We are missing a little grip on the harder tyre but it's going well with the softer compound, although we are struggling with warm up on both. We lost a little time with a brake problem in the morning but it didn't affect our programme too much as the grip was not really there at the start. At the end of the first I was still able to do 25 mins and two runs and got a good position in FP1 and could follow it up in the second practice too. The circuit is OK, but I miss some of the high speed sections you find in other tracks. There are a lot of second gear slow sections and the flow is not really there, but it's still a big challenge as it's very slippery so you are always fighting with oversteer. There wasn't a problem with the changing light as the lighting is very good: you still know it's at night but you can really see clearly. Driving into the sunset was OK - I don't think there will be a problem on Sunday.

Tonio Liuzzi (car 21)

It's a great facility here, still quite slippery with the dust but it was very interesting to drive in such different light conditions over the day. It went quite well today. I think we are very competitive and have a very strong car on higher fuel loads. We still need to work a lot on the low fuel conditions as we are not spot on but I think we are going in the right direction with the car and can be happy with the progress we made today. We knew it would be hard but it's not easy for anybody with this high temperature to find a balance but I am positive for tomorrow.

Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer

Today's objectives were to allow the drivers to familiarise themselves with the circuit in the real world rather than on the simulator, ensure our cooling and brake system fundamentals were suitable, validate our wing level selection and understand the tyre behaviour as usual. We completed these steps and will review the results overnight. Adrian lost a bit of track time in both sessions with some minor issues, but this hasn't caused any setback. What is clear without needing to look at any data however, is that this is a world-class race track and will definitely deliver an excellent event this weekend.

-credit: force india

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