Italian GP: Force India qualifying report

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/06): FP3: 11th 1:37.504 (11 laps) Q1: 20th 1:37.417 (12 laps) Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05): FP3: 10th 1:37.285 (9 laps) Q1: 13th 1:36.280 (11 laps) Q2: 12th 136.698 (8 laps) The Force India Formula...

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/06):
FP3: 11th 1:37.504 (11 laps)
Q1: 20th 1:37.417 (12 laps)

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05):
FP3: 10th 1:37.285 (9 laps)
Q1: 13th 1:36.280 (11 laps)
Q2: 12th 136.698 (8 laps)

The Force India Formula One Team has achieved its highest-ever position in qualifying for the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella will start from a superb 12th following an extraordinary wet session that saw the team go through to Q2 for the first time this season and the first time since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix. The result is also the team's highest qualifying position since the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil started well in Q1, however he struggled with his second set of tyres and will start from 20th position.

Giancarlo excelled in the wet and windy qualifying session, with his final lap being the 13th quickest of Q1. The Italian pushed hard in the opening minutes of the second segment to record the 12th fastest of the remaining 15 cars - just five hundredths from the crucial 10th position and Q3 - but as conditions worsened, it was clear that he would not better this time. Giancarlo will start his home race surrounded by race winners, Kubica and Coulthard, reigning world champion Raikkonen and current world championship leader Hamilton.

Adrian put in some strong laps in the first 20 minute segment and was classified as high as third before his second run. The German however reported that a switch to a new set of tyres affected the balance of his VJM01 and he was unable to improve on his time from his earlier run. The 53 lap race will start at 14:00hrs local time tomorrow.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)

'A bit disappointing as I had a good balance in the rain. The first set of tyres worked really well and we were very competitive but then I changed tyres and suddenly we lost all the grip and I was about six tenths a lap slower in better conditions. We have to figure out what went wrong, but all the same I think that we've got every chance of making up for this tomorrow.'

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)

'Of course I'm really pleased to be able to give the team its first entry into Q2 this year and particularly here in Monza. Conditions in the first session were bad at the start and it was difficult to find some grip but they improved at the end and that was when I was able to find some space and push. We went out as soon as we could in the second session as the rain was getting heavier and we really did the optimum - we weren't too far from Q3 with the quickest lap. Unfortunately then the rain just got worse and it was going to be impossible to improve. I'm really looking forward to the race, and with the predicted rain I think it will be very exciting. I'm going to try hard here - I scored my first win in similar conditions in Brazil with this team, and although that's going to be difficult here, we can at least try for points.'

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer

'An exciting qualifying session and great to get one car into Q2. On his first run in Q1 Adrian looked very comfortable but on his second set of tyres he really struggled for grip, which was a shame as I really think he could have got through as well. Giancarlo did well to get a clear lap in Q1 and was unlucky just to miss out by a couple of hundredths from Q3. Overall we have been strong with both cars in every session so far this weekend and we have to look to have to score some points tomorrow.'

Dr. Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director

'I am absolutely delighted with this qualifying result here in Monza. We've been striving for this all year and finally, in some of the worst conditions this season, we have got it. I have to say thank you to Giancarlo for driving a fantastic lap in the wet and cross my fingers that he can convert this into a strong result tomorrow. Adrian was unlucky today. As we have seen many times over this season though, he is a very capable wet weather driver and I am in no doubt that he will show this in race conditions tomorrow.'

-credit: force india

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Mike Gascoyne , Adrian Sutil
Teams Force India