Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03):
FP1: 9th 1:27.993 (20 laps)
FP2: 9th 1:27.040 (29 laps)
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/01):
FP1: 14th 1:28.603 (16 laps)
FP2: 13th 1:27.282 (32 laps)
27 March 2009 - The Force India Formula One Team's 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship campaign got underway today with two 90 minute free practice sessions at the Albert Park track in Melbourne, Australia. Both Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella enjoyed strong starts to the year, with Adrian recording the 9th quickest time in both sessions and Giancarlo the 14th and 13th fastest times in FP1 and FP2 - already on a par with their respective 2008 qualifying laps.
After a very limited winter testing programme, the team's objective today was to cover as many laps as possible and further its understanding of the new car, the VJM02. The programme also included comparing the two Bridgestone Potenza tyre compounds available this weekend, set-up work and, in the afternoon, longer and new tyre runs.
Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix will take place tomorrow at 17:00hrs local time following a final 60-minute practice session in the morning.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
'I hope this is representative of where we are, but it is still very early on in the weekend. We had a good session in the afternoon and could do some quite promising runs. I was pleased with the car, we had no real problems. The balance depended on the tyres. In the second session we did some race runs and struggled a lot with the softer tyre, but I think once the track rubbers in the tyres will grip better, but overall it was OK and a good position in the end. I think we can be happy with where we are right now.'
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
'It's a bit too early to say how we can perform this weekend. The car is better under high speed but so far I am struggling with the rear locking and I'm not 100% comfortable just yet. We're in better shape than last year for sure though. We will see tomorrow but at least we know there is potential to improve over night.'
Simon Roberts, chief operating officer
'It's been a promising start to the weekend today. I've been really pleased with the team and the overall performance. We managed to get everything we needed to completed and, apart from a couple of niggles in the first session - really just early season teething problems - it was a good team showing.'
-credit: force india