TONIO OPENS THREE-DAY BARCELONA TEST FOR FORCE INDIA
Tonio Liuzzi today completed testing duties for the Force India Formula One Team on the first day of its three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain. After three long haul races kicked off the season, today was the first time the team had tested at a European track since February this year, when the VJM01 made its track debut.
This time out, teams were once again able to test the ungrooved 'slick' 2009 tyres in preparation for their reintroduction next year, but were also able to try the proposed 2009 aerodynamics package. Tonio focussed on establishing a strong baseline set-up with the 2008 aero package and tyres in the morning before moving over to compare the runs with the 2009 slicks and wings in the afternoon. Throughout the day the car ran reliably, with Tonio completing 91 laps in total.
Giancarlo Fisichella will take over the wheel for the second day of testing, with Adrian Sutil finishing the test on Wednesday.
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer
'Today was a useful opening day, with no real mechanical problems. In the morning we used the standard 2008 VJM01 with the 2008 grooved tyres to establish a baseline set-up, but in the afternoon we moved to the 2009 downforce level and tyres. We obtained some useful information on their respective performance, and after a basic warm-up, the tyres behaved better than we expected. On longer runs there is some drop off with the 2009 tyres and there is still some work to do. We will continue tomorrow with a similar programme with Giancarlo and hope to push on with the solid work we put in today.'
'Today was a good day of testing with quite a few kilometres and no real mechanical issues. The car was good from start to finish and responded well to the changes we made. It has improved a lot from the last time I drove it in February, which shows the steps forward the team has made in the first three races. In the morning we tested the 2008 configuration and then the 2009 aero package in the afternoon. It was difficult to drive as there is much less downforce, but I think Bridgestone has done a good job with the tyres as they performed very strongly over one lap. On longer runs it was not quite as good, but there is still a lot of time to get it right. I was pretty happy with the work we have done for both 2008 and 2009. It looks promising.'
Driver: Tonio Liuzzi
Track: Circuit de Catalunya, Spain
Best lap time: 1min 22.846
Laps completed: 91
Kilometres completed 424km
Air temperature: High of 19C
Track temperature: High of 34C
Weather: Sunny most of the day, scattered cloud and showers late afternoon
-credit: force india