Force India hopes for better with new gearbox in Valencia
Giancarlo Fisichella took a hard-fought 15th position in today's Hungarian Grand Prix following a close battle with the Williams of Rosberg and Nakajima and the Honda of Barrichello. The Italian moved up three positions from his starting slot and enjoyed a race-long battle with his closest rivals in the searing conditions of the Hungaroring.
Team-mate Adrian Sutil also raced competitively until the closing stages, however his Hungarian Grand Prix was compromised early on as a result of a brake problem. The same issue later led to a puncture and his subsequent retirement just eight laps from the end of the race.
The team now has a short break in advance of the European Grand Prix in three weeks' time.
Adrian Sutil "My start was normal, I was on the outside going into turn one but then I had to go a little bit wide and dropped back a place. Then the problems started on the third lap when my brakes started to overheat, particularly the rear ones, and I had to move my brake balance forward. From that point on I had problems, with lots of locking on the front and understeer and it was difficult to handle the car. Considering this, my race pace was not bad in the first stint, but then in the second stint I was held up by the group in front when I was quite light and lost some time there. In the final stint I had a puncture on the front right under braking and then the brakes gave up and my race was over. Overall, I am disappointed because we've worked hard for the whole weekend and then after three laps we have a problem so I couldn't show the performance I wanted to."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "It was a tough race as we were fighting quite a lot. We were quite heavy at the beginning of the race but the pace really wasn't too bad and I could keep up with the others in front of me. In fact the two Williams were only two laps heavier than me when I was just behind them, but I was keeping the same pace. Even at the end of the race in the last few laps I could do a 1min 22.6, which is a good lap time. In terms of strategy we did well, that was the maximum we could get from this race, we just need a step forward for the next few races."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: "An exciting race for our guys, with both driving very good races under the circumstances. Giancarlo lost a position at the start but both drove good first stints. We put them on slightly different strategies, with a short middle stint for Adrian and a longer one for Giancarlo. We were able to jump some people in the pit stops with Giancarlo, and although he just wasn't able to hold it in the final pit stop, at least we were able to race with the group in front. Adrian had a brake problem very early on, which meant we had to wind his brake balance forward and ultimately he had to stop with a puncture caused by this brake failure. While it's disappointing not to get two cars to the finish, we can be pleased with the team's performance and both the drivers who all pushed very hard this weekend."
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director: "I think we can be pleased with the team's performance this weekend. On a track where qualifying often determines the finishing position, Giancarlo was able to improve three positions on his starting position through a combination of a bold strategy and his own very polished overtaking maneouvres. Adrian also looked to be racing competitively, despite the problems that started very early on for him. While it's disappointing to not get two cars to the finish, again we raced very well and finished in front of cars yet again. We're looking forward to the European Grand Prix now where I hope the introduction of the seamless shift gearbox will move us ever-closer to the midfield."