Fisichella struggling for balance

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The Force India Formula One Team started its Turkish Grand Prix challenge today with two one and a half hour practice sessions at a chilly and overcast Istanbul Park. With second practice expected to deliver rain showers, the team adjusted the morning session programme to conduct tyre comparisons and establish a strong baseline set-up for the weekend.

Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil both completed 23 laps, recording the 15th and 14th quickest times respectively. Unfortunately however Giancarlo was just seconds early in exiting the pit lane at the start of the session - crossing the line just a fraction before the red light - and was handed a three-place grid penalty for the race.

The afternoon duly saw the rain fall, with many cars experiencing several spins and offline moments, including a brief red flag period following an off from Mark Webber. Giancarlo had a steady session to record the 14th quickest time, however Adrian's afternoon was brought to an end when his car developed a clutch problem after the red flag.

Final practice will start at 11:00hrs tomorrow morning, with qualifying at 14:00hrs local time.

Adrian Sutil "This morning was OK. It was difficult for everyone as there was very little grip with not much rubber laid down. I think most people struggled to find a balance, including us. We took the hard tyre for the first session and recorded a standard lap time, but at least we could see where we were. It was OK with the balance and some corners were quite good. We used the harder tyre again in the second session with the longer runs, but it did not work as well at the beginning as I lost all the temperatures in the tyres. After the red flag we realised that there was a clutch issue and we couldn't do any more running so it was a bit disappointing, but hopefully tomorrow will be better."

Giancarlo Fisichella "This morning I was really struggling with the balance and with the grip on the circuit, but then we made a few changes on the car and it felt much better, much more consistent so I think it was a good afternoon, it was definitely a step forward in the second session."

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: "A reasonably productive day but with a couple of difficulties. As expected, we struggled with the relatively low grip of the circuit and found it difficult to get the tyres working correctly. With Adrian we had a clutch problem in the afternoon session that curtailed his running, but Giancarlo completed his planned programme. Over the longer runs he was very consistent and competitive, but we know there is still more to come from both drivers tomorrow."