The Force India Formula One Team put in an encouraging opening day of practice for this weekend's European Grand Prix, held in the vibrant Spanish city of Valencia. Adrian Sutil finished both 90 minute sessions with the sixth quickest lap, while...
The Force India Formula One Team put in an encouraging opening day of practice for this weekend's European Grand Prix, held in the vibrant Spanish city of Valencia. Adrian Sutil finished both 90 minute sessions with the sixth quickest lap, while Giancarlo was 16th fastest in the morning and a strong eighth in the afternoon.
With a new aerodynamic upgrade being debuted this race, the focus this morning was on conducting primary evaluations of the package and establishing a good baseline set-up on the harder tyre option. Both Giancarlo and Adrian completed three runs each, with a total of 30 laps between them.
In the afternoon's session both drivers moved to the softer tyre option and put in a longer run simulation, setting their quickest times in their final outings.
It was a good day for us today. Sixth place is looking OK and I hope we're now comfortably running at a Q2 pace. It's very encouraging and I'm looking forward to getting out again tomorrow. We had a few small niggles on the car so we couldn't run as much as we would have liked in the two sessions, but ultimately the balance was good. We did the tyre work as usual and although it was difficult at the start we understood the behaviour much more by the end of the second session. I don't think it will be a problem in the race as we used a similar tyre in Bahrain and didn't have any major issues on race day.
I could set a reasonable lap time at the end of FP2 this afternoon. I was struggling this morning with the rear tyre graining but it looks better on the soft tyres for a single lap. We made a few changes for the afternoon and I'm confident we are going in the right direction. I can feel the package is a step forward but it's quite tight for positions at the moment so we'll see for tomorrow. I'm feeling quite good about it.
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer:
A lot of track improvement through the day and generally quite a successful programme for our cars. This circuit is particularly hard on the rear tyres, and on the slippery and green track meant we had to work at the balance. Aside from a couple of minor mechanical issues the team had no problems getting back into the swing of a Grand Prix Friday. It's so very tight in the field now we can't make any predictions for qualifying, but we appear to be in the mix and clearly a good grid spot will be our aim for tomorrow.