Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03):
FP1: 20th 1:23.536 (19 laps)
FP2: No time set
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04):
FP1: 16th 1:23.089 (25 laps)
FP2: 12th 1:22.670 (32 laps)
8 May 2009 - The Spanish Grand Prix, the first European round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, got underway today with two 90 minute free practice sessions. With the 4.655km Circuit de Catalunya well known from the miles covered during winter testing, Force India's programme focussed on gaining more information on the new upgrades introduced this weekend, including a driver-adjustable front wing and further developments on the diffuser, and evaluating the tyre options.
After setting the 16th quickest lap in the morning, Giancarlo Fisichella capped a productive day with the 12th fastest time in the afternoon. Unfortunately however team-mate Adrian Sutil's day came to a premature end after FP1 when his VJM02 developed a problem with the fuel cell and he had to sit out the afternoon practice. The German will however participate in tomorrow's final free practice and qualifying.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
'Unfortunately in the afternoon we couldn't do any running as there was a problem with the fuel cell and we couldn't make the change in time to get out for the session. In any case we have our information for the set up this weekend from winter testing so I don't think it will be a big problem tomorrow. FP1 was OK, we just tested the tyres available this weekend. We struggled a bit with the soft tyres and I wasn't too happy with the time in the end, but Giancarlo got a lot of running in so we know what direction to take.'
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
'It's good to run with the adjustable front wing, from my point of view it made things easier. We are still struggling a little with the understeer in the slow speed corners and we need to improve traction in that area but we got through our programme today and could cover a lot of laps. I think we are doing a good job to get the developments through but I think the target now should be just to get to the end of the race and see where we are.'
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer
'Whilst it was a useful day for Giancarlo, Adrian lost the entire FP2 session with a fuel cell problem. It's one of those things that happens very infrequently and, despite working flat out, it was impossible to repair it in time for the second practice. Giancarlo worked on the tyres to compensate for the team's reduced running and was reasonably satisfied with the overall car balance and the data that was collected going in preparation for the weekend.
-credit: force india