Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/03): FP1: 17th 1:30.155 (13 laps) FP2: 17th 1:29.161 (32 laps) Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05): FP1: 12th 1:29.230 (24 laps) FP2: 9th 1:28.469 (32 laps) The 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship...
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/03):
FP1: 17th 1:30.155 (13 laps)
FP2: 17th 1:29.161 (32 laps)
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05):
FP1: 12th 1:29.230 (24 laps)
FP2: 9th 1:28.469 (32 laps)
The 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship season started on a promising note for the Force India Formula One Team, with strong performances from both Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil in the opening free practice sessions in Melbourne, Australia.
In a mark of the team's progress over the winter, Giancarlo posted the 12th fastest time in the first practice session, just two tenths from the top 10, and the 9th fastest in the afternoon's runs; the first time the team has been in the top 10 in practice since Monaco 2007. Adrian Sutil similarly had encouraging runs in the second Force India VJM01 chassis, setting the 17th fastest time in both sessions.
Today the duo concentrated on longer runs and fine-tuning the race set-up, and completed 101 laps in total with the only mechanical problem a minor hydraulic leak for Adrian in the first session.
After a final practice session tomorrow morning, the duo will go into qualifying with high hopes of taking the team into Q2 for the first time.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
'I think today went quite well. The track was slippery at the beginning, so it was difficult to find a good balance to start with, but after the first run I was happy and then we didn't change so much over the sessions - really just fine-tuned everything. We had a small hydraulic problem before lunch but it was soon solved and we could do several longer runs in the second free practice with some quite good lap times. At the end it was a little bit unlucky I had some traffic on my fastest lap so I couldn't do a good time with the new tyres, but tomorrow is another day and I think we should be much better than last year.'
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
'It was a good challenge today and it looks quite promising. We made a big step forward over the winter and, with the new development parts we have here, we are not looking too bad. I am happy with the job we are doing so far, both the team and myself are working well together, and although we know we still have a lot of work to do and it is going to be tough, it's a good start.'
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer
'A very good day concentrating on race set-up and tyre evaluation. The only mechanical problem we had was a minor hydraulic leak for Adrian in the morning, which curtailed his morning running, but it was no problem for the afternoon. Overall the tyres were dominated by front graining on the longer runs, but as the circuit improves I am sure that aspect will get better. On the whole though a very good day for the team that confirms the step forward we have made relative to the competition over the winter. We now have to carry that forward through qualifying and into the race.'
-credit: force india