F1

Australian GP: Force India qualifying report

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03): FP3: 14th 1:27.062 (12 laps) Q1: 19th 1:26.742 (9 laps) Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/01): FP1: 18th 1:27.492 (20 laps) Q1: 18th 1:26.677 (10 laps) 28 March 2009 - The Force India Formula One Team...

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03):
FP3: 14th 1:27.062 (12 laps)
Q1: 19th 1:26.742 (9 laps)

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/01):
FP1: 18th 1:27.492 (20 laps)
Q1: 18th 1:26.677 (10 laps)

28 March 2009 - The Force India Formula One Team will start the the Australian Grand Prix, the 2009 season opening race, with Giancarlo Fisichella 18th and Adrian Sutil 19th as the field proved even closer than last year, with 1.5 seconds covering 10th to 20th. Following strong performances throughout the weekend, Giancarlo and Adrian were just two tenths from putting the VJM02 into the top 16 and the second qualifying segment.

The 58 lap Australian Grand Prix will start at 17:00hrs local time tomorrow.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)
'For sure we were hoping after yesterday's performance to be able to make it into Q2 but in the end it was not possible. Things looked better in practice but perhaps the others were not showing all their potential. We know we have plenty to work on, our main problem is that we need a lot more downforce. My main goal now will be to make it to the end of the race tomorrow and then let's see where we are. It's even tighter than last year.'

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
'We knew that it would be difficult today, but considering what we have done so far this year, with the limited pre-season testing, being just two tenths slower than the 2008 world champion is a good result. Being so close shows it's already a very challenging season. I had a good lap and I am happy as I have been struggling a bit with the brakes and locking all weekend and I'm not driving as I want. But all this considered, there is really good potential in this car so we are looking forward to working it through. For tomorrow, first of all we need to get to the end of the race - that's the main goal and then we'll see.'

Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer
'That was a very tight session - it seems the field is even closer than last year. Unfortunately it was not the outcome we'd hoped for as both drivers narrowly missed out on Q2. The drivers and engineers got close to getting the best they could from the car this weekend. We need a bit more development to really challenge, but given how our programme started late, we've made enormous progress already and we know that there is plenty in the pipeline. The race is going to be a good one, and it will be interesting to see the strategies that are adopted now that all the teams must commit to a race start fuel load just two hours after confirming their grid position.'

-credit: force india

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