Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03): FP1: 15th 1:37.241 (18 laps) FP2: 16th 1:36.875 (36 laps) Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/01): FP1: 12th 1:37.025 (20 laps) FP2: 19th 1:37.432 (27 laps) The Force India Formula One Team today ...
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03):
FP1: 15th 1:37.241 (18 laps)
FP2: 16th 1:36.875 (36 laps)
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/01):
FP1: 12th 1:37.025 (20 laps)
FP2: 19th 1:37.432 (27 laps)
The Force India Formula One Team today completed the opening day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit some 60km from the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur. Under increasingly cloudy skies, Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil recorded times just over a second from the fastest lap of the day, with Giancarlo 12th and 19th in the morning and afternoon sessions respectively, and Adrian 15th and 16th.
The team completed short runs on the harder tyre in the morning, but concentrated the majority of its programme on the afternoon session, with its high ambient temperatures and later time slot being more representative of the expected conditions for Sunday's race, which will start at 17:00hrs this year. Both drivers compared the soft and hard tyre compounds available this weekend over both long and short runs, fine-tuned the set-up and reacclimatised to the tough physical pressures associated with the heat and humidity of this event.
The only blip in the programme was an accident for Giancarlo in the second practice. The Italian put a wheel on the grass at turn 11 20 minutes from the end of the session and went into the gravel trap and into the barriers. His VJM02 sustained suspension damage in the impact but will be repaired overnight in time for tomorrow's final practice session and qualifying.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
'It was a good day today overall. We got through all our work and had no problems with the car. We have some work to do with the set up, it's still a bit understeery in the high speed corners and we can still make some improvements in this respect. The soft tyres seem to work quite well, but the hard tyre at the moment is really hard and never seems to come in. Overall it was a pretty productive day to set us up well for the weekend.'
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
'We are still finding the best compromise under braking as there is front locking and poor grip and traction so we have to work a lot to make the balance work for us. Over the longer runs it doesn't look too bad however. It's a shame about the accident in the afternoon - I just went a little bit wide as there was some graining on the tyres and I lost control of the car. It was just unlucky to go onto the gravel and into the barriers.'
Simon Roberts, chief operating officer
'We managed to get through most of the programme today in both sessions and had some good runs on the softer tyres in the second session, so we now have a good data point. Unfortunately Giancarlo came off the track in the closing stages of the afternoon and damaged the car, but I think we have got a good basis to move forward from now. Looking forward to tomorrow and the race I would hope that we are in a similar shape to last weekend, or even a slight improvement.'
-credit: force india