Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/02): DNF: Lap one Accident Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05): 10th: 1:38:28.846 (+1 lap) FORCE INDIA SECURES TOP TEN FINISH IN SPAIN The Force India Formula One Team has secured its best-ever finish in a...
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/02):
DNF: Lap one Accident
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05):
10th: 1:38:28.846 (+1 lap)
FORCE INDIA SECURES TOP TEN FINISH IN SPAIN
The Force India Formula One Team has secured its best-ever finish in a thrilling Spanish Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella claimed 10th position to give the team its first top 10 finish in just four races. Giancarlo drove an excellent race, running as high as 8th position for several laps and fighting with the BMW of Nick Heidfeld. Unfortunately Adrian Sutil did not finish the race after a first-lap collision brought his Spanish Grand Prix to a very premature end.
Both drivers made good starts to immediately graduate to the midfield, with Giancarlo up to 15th by the end of the first lap. After an initial safety car period caused by Adrian's accident, the Italian then pushed hard to be 14th before the first round of pit stops. His first pit stop was planned for lap 21, however just as he was about to peel into the pits, a second safety car was deployed to remove Heikki Kovalainen's car, and Giancarlo was forced to conserve fuel and stay out until the pit lane was opened. A short stop ensured he leapfrogged up the order and, with the numerous retirements ahead, was elevated to 8th position by lap 41.
The Italian was however bottled up behind a fighting Takuma Sato and was unable to make full advantage of his lighter fuel load. After a second stop on lap 44, a charging Nick Heidfeld then caught Giancarlo and the Italian was soon engaged in a close battle with the BMW driver. Despite keeping him behind for several laps, Giancarlo eventually submitted on lap 55 to finish his fourth race for Force India in a highly credible 10th position.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
'Again a disappointing day. After a good start into turn four I was on the inside and had a try to overtake another car, but it was too close and I couldn't make the corner. I crashed into a car and my race was over then and there. A very disappointing end to the weekend.'
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
'Not too bad, 10th is the best result of the season so far. I know several cars had accidents but I did my best. After the first safety car period, the car was very good. I was comfortable and I think I was quite competitive. Then in the last stint the grip with the hard tyres wasn't great. I was pushing but I was at the limit with the grip. I enjoyed the battle with Heidfeld - he was quicker than me but I managed to keep him behind for many laps. Better than yesterday definitely but we still need to work a lot and find something more.'
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer
'Good and bad. Both drivers had excellent starts but unfortunately Adrian just lost the car on the first lap and was forced to retire. Giancarlo drove an excellent race and was able to pick up several positions and run at the pace of the group in front as we expected. It was difficult at his first pit stop when the safety car came out as we were just seconds away from coming in, but Giancarlo did a great job to conserve fuel so we could hang on until the pit lane opened. We short fuelled him to jump the cars in the pit stop, which worked perfectly for us, but we then got bottled up behind Sato, which meant we couldn't use the light car to build up the cushion and we dropped a couple of places. It was a shame as at one point 8th place was on the cards. But well done to Giancarlo and the team - our first top 10 finish. Once again our race pace shows well, but we now have to get Saturday right as we haven't got the most out of qualifying yet.'
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director
'I am so proud of this result today: a top 10 finish in our fourth ever race is quite some achievement, especially considering where this team was back at the end of last season. Giancarlo showed real star quality in the race, with a good start, pushing hard, keeping it together and actually being in a points scoring position for several laps. Keeping the car that was leading the constructors' World Championship behind us also put a big smile on my face! Unfortunately Adrian was not so lucky; he tried to move up, sadly it didn't work, but if you start close to the back you have to take risks. We now just have to work on qualifying and improve on this - if we start higher up the grid, who knows where we could go?'
-credit: force india