Malaysian GP: Force India race report

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/02): DNF: Hydraulic Lap 5 Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05): 12th: 1:31:49.648 (+1 lap) The Force India Formula One Team has finished the Malaysian Grand Prix with Giancarlo Fisichella in 12th position.

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/02):
DNF: Hydraulic Lap 5

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05):
12th: 1:31:49.648 (+1 lap)

The Force India Formula One Team has finished the Malaysian Grand Prix with Giancarlo Fisichella in 12th position. The Italian demonstrated the improved race pace of the VJM01, battling throughout with the midfield pack and setting a string of lap times just over one second from the leaders. Unfortunately, after moving from 20th on the grid to 14th in five laps, Adrian Sutil's car developed a hydraulic problem on the fifth lap and the German was unable to finish the race.

Giancarlo had a bad start off the line, which pushed him back to 20th but by his first stop had graduated to 15th overall behind Barrichello. A switch to the harder Bridgestone Potenza tyre option however gave Giancarlo opportunity to attack and he was soon pushing hard to catch the Brazilian, putting in lap times similar to the top three. Giancarlo got within one second before his second stop, but he was ultimately able to overhaul the Honda driver in the closing stages of the race when the latter was handed a drivethrough penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

The team will now return to its UK base to regroup for the third event of the year, the Bahrain Grand Prix, in just two weeks' time.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)

'Very early on in the race I developed a mechanical problem and had to switch the engine off and pull off the track. I am very disappointed with this start to the season, especially after I had to stop so soon into the race in Australia too.'

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)

'I think we honestly did our best here. At the start I had a lot of wheelspin and lost a lot of positions, I don't know why but we have to look into it. On my first stint I was suffering a lot of understeer with graining on the soft tyres but then in my stop I adjusted the front flap and went onto the harder tyres and stayed on them for both stints. I am happy with the race pace later on though and it is promising for the rest of the season.'

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer

'Some real positives from the weekend, but also some very bad luck for Adrian. He had had a difficult weekend until the race but then made a great start and his race pace was looking really strong, so it's a real shame we had a hydraulic issue on his car very early on. Giancarlo made a bad start, but after the first stop he showed a really competitive race pace. Ultimately it was disappointing not to get two cars to the finish but overall I think we can look forward to a much better season than the team has had over the last few years.'

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director

'Overall we have shown a genuine improvement in pace in Malaysia from last season. In 2007 this team was at the back of the grid, this year we were just 0.05secs from getting into Q2. We have bettered our fastest lap by over two seconds, more than any other team on the grid, but more importantly we showed that we are now able to race and are no longer the team bringing up the rear of the field. Unfortunately Adrian once again went out in the early stages through no fault of his own, which sadly denied him the chance to show how he could do under race conditions, but Giancarlo drove an excellent race, setting some very promising times and was able to fight for position. I feel this is highly promising for the rest of the season.'

-credit: force india

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