Force India hopes for good qualifying after competitive Friday
The Force India Formula One Team had a promising start to preparations for its 'home' Grand Prix at Silverstone, UK, today. Both Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil put in a productive day's work, with the 10th and 11th fastest times respectively in the morning, and 19th and 3rd quickest in the afternoon. Adrian's afternoon position is the team's highest-placed Friday classification so far this season.
The team used the two 90 minute practices to evaluate its major new aero package unveiled at Silverstone, which included a new front wing, bargeboards, bodywork and modifications to the floor. In the morning's session the drivers focussed on evaluation of the VJM02 with the new upgrades while in the afternoon continued with tyre comparisons and longer run simulations.
With a further one hour's practice remaining tomorrow before qualifying, the team has high hopes of achieving a Q2 position for the third consecutive event.
Adrian Sutil (car 20): "Today went well as I was happy with the car the whole day. It was a bit surprising to be third in FP2, but it was a really good session, the best position so far this year on a Friday. We ran through our programme, doing a lot of tyre work and the long runs seem to be quite OK. The soft option goes off a little in the rear but should be fine on Sunday, so no real worries there. I don't think it's realistic to expect us to be third for qualifying, but everything is working really well and I am quite confident about making it through to Q2 again. If we can do this again we'd be quite satisfied."
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21): "This morning was OK and we had some good runs, and the lap time was not bad. This afternoon however I was suffering with oversteer and we made some small changes, but in the end with the new tyres I was suffering with understeer. It wasn't such a great FP2 but the potential is there as Adrian has set a really good time. I think tomorrow we should go in the top 15 in qualifying."
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer: "It was nice to see Adrian close to the top of the times this afternoon, and we've generally been pleased with today's sessions. The team has worked very well today and being so close to the HQ really spurs us on. It was very windy, and that affected the cars' balance this afternoon with a tendency to oversteer being the result. We ran our usual programme to understand the tyre behaviour and we will have to analyse the data thoroughly this evening. The cars ran reliably through more than two race distances over both sessions and we're looking forward to another good qualifying session tomorrow."