Fisichella Motor Sport International endured a difficult weekend in France as the team came away from the Magny Cours rounds of the GP2 Series with no points. For round four of the championship, Marko Asmer joined the team to race alongside Roldan...
Fisichella Motor Sport International endured a difficult weekend in France as the team came away from the Magny Cours rounds of the GP2 Series with no points. For round four of the championship, Marko Asmer joined the team to race alongside Roldan Rodriguez, who has competed in each race for FMSI in 2008. However, the team leave France with plenty of data to work on ahead of the next round, where they will aim for strong points finishes.
The weekend began on Friday morning when teams had a free practice session on the undulating 4.411km Magny Cours circuit. Thirty minutes were available for FMSI to optimise car set-up on the challenging circuit, which features many fast corners and chicanes mixed with slow turns, making finding the correct balance difficult. ART Grand Prix's Romain Grosjean topped the practice times with a lap time of 1:22.676. Rodriguez completed 19 laps and set the seventh fastest time, five tenths of a second behind Grosjean's time. Amser clocked a fastest time of 1:24.918 after his 12 laps of practice.
Rodriguez and Amser suffered a difficult qualifying session, with the Spaniard setting the 20th fastest lap and the Estonian the 23rd quickest time, securing tenth and twelfth row grid slots for the FMSI team for Saturday's feature race. In the 41-lap race Asmer brought his FMSI car home in 17th position, completing his first race distance in GP2. Unfortunately Rodriguez failed to finish the feature, retiring eight laps before the chequered flag due to a clutch problem and putting him at the back for Sunday's shorter race. In the 28-lap sprint, both drivers made the finish, with Asmer crossing the line in 11th, after running as high as fifth during the race, and Rodriguez finishing in 16th position.
Round five of the 2008 GP2 Series, which will host races nine and ten of the season, will take place at the Silverstone circuit in Great Britain on 5 and 6 July.
Paolo Coloni, Team Principal: "Although we didn't get the results this weekend, we got a lot of information during every session and we know exactly what we need to do for Silverstone for both drivers. I am confident we can run in the top eight at the next race. We didn't have much luck with Roldan yesterday with the clutch problem in the race, but it was good to see Marko running as high as fifth. However, we ran a safe intermediate set-up for him, which wasn't the best for his position, but we didn't want to take any risks and we wanted him to finish the race. We got good and consistent feedback from both drivers this weekend so we now look forward to Silverstone, where it should be easier for us and we should be able to put in a much better performance."