The Turkish Grand Prix, held at the Istanbul Park circuit from 5 - 7 June, will be the seventh event on the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar. The Force India Formula One Team travels to this next event in Istanbul fresh from its ...
The Turkish Grand Prix, held at the Istanbul Park circuit from 5 - 7 June, will be the seventh event on the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar. The Force India Formula One Team travels to this next event in Istanbul fresh from its best-ever race weekend performance at the last round in Monaco. Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil put both VJM02 cars through to Q2 for the first time and consolidated the result with a solid finish. Giancarlo was less than two seconds from scoring Force India's first points in the race while Adrian came home in 14th overall.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal
How would you review the last round of the championship in Monaco?
I think we can be very happy with our showing in Monaco. All weekend it was a great team performance. Following a lot of hard work back at the factory, we ran a constructive, comprehensive programme during free practice and got the timing exactly right to have a superb qualifying. I would have been delighted with one car in Q2, but to get two was a dream. It then continued into Sunday's race where Giancarlo was so close to that eighth place. I was so proud of everyone and it's certainly very encouraging for the rest of the season.
Were you disappointed not to have been there in person to see the race?
I know much has been made of the fact I was not in Monaco to see the result, but as I have always said, I believe in giving people the means and the responsibility to autonomously carry out their tasks to the best of their ability. I think this weekend shows I have capable, confident people in the right positions and I do not need to be there looking over their shoulders. I can assure you however I was 100% behind the team and was very quickly on the phone to celebrate!
Can we expect a similar showing in Turkey?
The result has had a great motivation on the team and the drivers - we just need that little bit more. We have some new development items coming through, such as new front wheel spinners and a small modification for the rear suspension, plus the rear wing we ran in Monaco will also undergo some slight changes to suit the downforce level in Istanbul. However the main thrust of the upgrades will come through in Silverstone now, so our aim for Turkey should be to keep the momentum we picked up in Monaco going and consolidate our form rather than wholesale improvements.
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01)
How was your Monaco Grand Prix weekend?
For me personally, I think it was a little bit up and down. I was pleased to make Q2 for the first time and was really looking forward to the race, but the end result was a little disappointing. When I had to come in for the harder tyres it was always going to be tough as I dropped to the rear of the field and then got stuck in the traffic. I could do some good laps at the end though and had a good battle with Lewis for some of the race. For this part we can be quite happy. We have a competitive pace and I think Giancarlo showed that we are getting stronger all the time.
What will your aims in Turkey be?
The main upgrades will now come in Silverstone so we have to be quite realistic about the performance this weekend. We have to keep pushing and try to have another strong qualifying that sets us up for the race. I enjoy the track and you can actually overtake in some corners so I hope we can have some good fights and be able to move up the field. I think we're solid midfield contenders now so we have to get to the finish and see where we are.
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04)
Monaco was a great event for you. What are your feelings on this now, looking back?
The whole weekend was actually very good. We always hoped we'd have a good showing there as we had some development and I have had some very good results at the track before. Getting into Q2 was a big achievement and, as a team to get two cars through was even better. In the race I felt good, I could push and put pressure on Bourdais. Perhaps at another track I could have found a way past, but it was too tight in Monaco. But we can be happy with ninth, it's our best result on track so far this year.
Who would you say are your closest rivals now?
Looking back at Monaco, I would say we have more or less the same speed as Toro Rosso and Williams. It was a surprise to see BMW and Toyota on the back row and racing behind us, but they are strong teams with a lot of resources and you wouldn't count them out for long.
What are your thoughts on the next round in Turkey?
I quite enjoy Turkey. It's a very physical track, you get lots of adrenaline when you drive there with the gradient changes and I have had some good results, including a fourth in 2005. We don't have a lot of new development coming through for this race though so it is going to be a tough one but once again we need to keep pushing. I'd love to get into Q2 again but we will know more about where we stand after Friday.
Force India Turkish GP points of note:
The Turkish Grand Prix is the furthest that the team's trucks will travel this year - more than 3,000km from Force India's Silverstone base. As there was not enough time between the Monaco Grand Prix and the Turkish event for the trucks to return to the UK, they went from Monaco to Trieste, Italy, by road and then onto Istanbul by sea. As such, Force India packed for a 'double header'.
Giancarlo has competed in every Turkish Grand Prix held so far. He finished fourth in 2005, sixth in 2006 and ninth in 2007 (all with Renault). Unfortunately in 2008 he was taken out within metres of the start in a crash with Kazuki Nakajima.
Last year Adrian had a tough race to finish 16th and was 21st in 2007.
Force India has had a very good reliability and finishing record so far this season. Of the 12 possible finishes so far this year, the team has been classified on 11 occasions. Only championship leaders Brawn GP have a perfect record, and second-placed Red Bull Racing are equal on number of finishes to Force India.
Turkish Grand Prix information
The challenging 5.338km, 14-turn Istanbul Park track is the first anti-clockwise circuit of the year, a thrilling combination of undulating straights, dramatic gradient changes - where over the course of a lap elevation varies by almost 46 metres - and long sweeping bends. Popular with teams and in particular drivers, who relish the challenging turn eight, basically four corners taken on the same line at around 250kph, and the two long straights where cars can reach up to 330kph.
The race was introduced to the series in 2005. Designed by circuit constructor Herman Tilke, his fourth F1 venue to be designed from scratch following Sepang, Bahrain and Shanghai, the track stands on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The Grand Prix also marks the first time the championship has returned to the Asian continent since the Bahrain Grand Prix back in April.
-credit: force india