2009 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying and Final Free Practice Report
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03):
FP3: 14th 1:33.534 (17 laps)
Q1: 16th 1:33.722 (10 laps)
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/01):
FP1: 19th 1:33.962 (15 laps)
Q1: 18th 1:33.910 (9 laps)
25 April 2009 - The Force India Formula One Team will start tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix from its highest grid slot so far this season following yet another ultra competitive qualifying session. Adrian Sutil will line up for the 57 lap race in 16th position while team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella will start from 18th. Adrian was only one tenth from Q2 while Giancarlo was two tenths behind in the team's strongest qualifying performance so far this year.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
'It was quite a good qualifying but conditions were very difficult out there. The grip was much lower than in free practice in the morning so the balance was not perfect and it was quite hard to go on the limit. I managed a good lap in the end and I think P16 is a good effort so we should be quite happy. There was a little problem with Mark Webber in the last corner: I was just trying to make a gap to Alonso to start my lap and Mark came in on a flying lap, but I didn't know that. I just tried to stay in my position to get a clear start to the lap. It was a misunderstanding and I apologised to Mark after the end of the session.'
NB: Following a Stewards of the Meeting enquiry, Adrian has been handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Mark Webber. Adrian will now start 19th and Giancarlo moves up to 17th position.
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
'We made a good step forward today and were very close to getting into Q2. I wasn't totally happy about the car balance in the session. It was better on the hard tyres but as soon as I went on the soft tyres the car was much more unpredictable. We made some changes to make it slightly better for qualifying but we still had some inconsistencies. I think that's the reason we couldn't improve the time but anyway we definitely made progress and it was a very good effort from the whole team. Tomorrow we need a good strategy to get to the end of the race but we know our pace is better over a race distance.'
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer
'We have clearly improved the car for this event and out-qualified one of our closest competitor teams. In this respect the contrast to China is obvious and that bodes well for the race. However we didn't make Q2 and to be so close is tough, of course. The track was the hottest we've seen since 2005 so the cars naturally lost some performance. It will be a hard race tomorrow and we're looking forward to giving our best and to another strong showing.'
-credit: force india