Belgian GP: Force India Friday practice report

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/06): FP1: 17th 1:50.117 (19 laps) FP2: 8th 1:49.585 (22 laps) Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05): FP1: 16th 1:49.986 (27 laps) FP2: 16th 1:50.740 (11 laps) The Force India Formula One Team had a positive...

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/06):
FP1: 17th 1:50.117 (19 laps)
FP2: 8th 1:49.585 (22 laps)

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05):
FP1: 16th 1:49.986 (27 laps)
FP2: 16th 1:50.740 (11 laps)

The Force India Formula One Team had a positive start to this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, with Adrian Sutil recording a strong eighth quickest time in the afternoon practice at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Giancarlo Fisichella experienced a productive morning, however his progress was stalled in the final half of the afternoon session by a spin on a river of water running from a tyre barrier Kimi Raikkonen had crashed into on the previous lap. Unfortunately Giancarlo was just a passenger as the car spun and ran into the barriers, damaging the front wing and nosecone.

Conditions at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the heart of the Ardennes forest were at their mercurial best today, with sunshine, showers, winds and cool temperatures within the space of just a few hours. As such, Force India adjusted its usual Friday programme to make the most of the interspersed dry conditions. Giancarlo Fisichella recorded 27 laps and Adrian Sutil 19 in the dry morning session, however the afternoon's 90 minute practice was marred by a shower just 10 minutes after the start. As per most of the field, the team waited until the shower had passed before restarting its scheduled programme.

Adrian put together a strong lap in the drying conditions that was enough for him to be classified in the top eight, however Giancarlo was not so fortunate as he got caught out on the surprise damp patch through turn 9.

Practice will resume tomorrow at 11:00hrs local time before qualifying at 14:00hrs.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)

'In the end I could put together a good lap and now at least we have some idea about the balance in these type of conditions. This morning was OK but we lost the final few minutes of the session with a broken damper and couldn't improve the time from the first run. At least we had some more tyres to use in the afternoon, but then unfortunately the rain started and it was difficult to judge when we could go out.'

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)

'It was a shame we could not do more laps in the drying conditions in the afternoon. Unfortunately I was coming out of turn eight and just came on to a really wet part of the track on dry tyres. The car just snapped away and there wasn't anything I could do to catch it before it went into the barriers. Until that point it had been a fairly normal day, we were finding a good balance and getting used to the tyres and I think we could have got a good time in the drier conditions at the end of the session.'

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer

'A mixed day today, for both the conditions and the drivers. Unfortunately Giancarlo's day was spoilt when he had a spin on the water that came out of the tyres following Raikkonen's accident. Other than that he had had a reasonable day, evaluating the tyres and working towards a set up for the weekend. Adrian was however able to complete most of his programme, although with the slippery conditions it was difficult to get a good balance. Overall though I think we have continued the momentum from Valencia and the VJM01 looks to be performing well. We hope to have a good weekend.'

-credit: force india

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Kimi Raikkonen , Mike Gascoyne , Adrian Sutil
Teams Force India