The tiny principality of Monaco nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean was today jolted from its usual idyll with the opening day of practice in preparation for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. The Force India Formula One Team used...
The tiny principality of Monaco nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean was today jolted from its usual idyll with the opening day of practice in preparation for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.
The Force India Formula One Team used the two 90 minute sessions to reacclimatise itself to the unique challenges of the 3.340km twisty street circuit, completing a combined total of 52 laps in the morning and 83 in the afternoon. The day progressed smoothly for the team, with Giancarlo and Adrian both running through the planned schedule of comparisons between the soft and supersoft tyre options available and the evaluation of the VJM02 in its high downforce configuration.
Adrian was 13th quickest in the afternoon, with Giancarlo 19th fastest.
Today was quite a normal practice day. The track was very slippery in the morning and it took quite some time to be able to push for a lap time. The car felt OK, reasonably balanced under the high downforce configuration, but the biggest problem we have at the moment is the rear tyre graining. Both the soft and the supersofts seem to be really bad and after even a medium-length run the graining is so bad it really affects the balance of the car. I am confident we can find a solution for qualifying though the extra day we have will help.'
Not a bad start to the weekend. We used the morning session to check the set-up and the balance and then completed some longer runs in the afternoon when the track had a bit more rubber laid down. Like Adrian I had some issues with tyre graining, particularly in the last five laps of my longer runs, and the car even felt like it was moving around even when going in a straight line. I didn't feel I got the best lap time today and there is certainly more to come.'
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer:
A typical Thursday's practice in Monaco with the circuit starting at low, low grip and beginning to rubber in by the end of FP2. The programmes ran smoothly for both cars apart from Giancarlo catching some traffic at the end of the afternoon. Adrian produced a good lap, and our balance is not too far away. We will work hard on analysing that data over the coming turnaround day, with a particular eye on maximising the rear tyre life in the race. With these roads open to the public tomorrow afternoon the circuit will be almost back to square one for Saturday morning, but we can expect further improvement before qualifying.'