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Monaco GP: Practice notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
22/05/2008

The tiny Principality of Monaco reverberated with the sound of Formula One cars today as free practice for the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix got underway. The Force India Formula One Team had a productive opening day, completing its programme of evaluating the unique set-up and tyre options necessary for the exceptional conditions of street racing.

Giancarlo Fisichella, who will celebrate his 200th Formula One race start on Sunday, had an encouraging start to the weekend, recording the 10th quickest time in the morning session. The unforgiving nature of Monaco was much in evidence in this opening practice, with three cars stopping on track and one red flag period when drain covers started to become loose. The Italian however completed 26 laps. He also featured well in the second session, setting top 12 times, however his last run on new tyres was hampered by a mechanical problem that halted his afternoon earlier than expected.

Adrian Sutil similarly enjoyed a reasonable day acclimatising to the 'green' track conditions, completing 25 laps in the first session and 31 in the second. The German struggled with understeer and tyre graining on the shorter runs, but was satisfied with the balance and pace over the longer stints.

Unusually in the championship, tomorrow will not feature any F1 action - a long-held tradition in the Monaco Grand Prix. The cars will next be out on track on Saturday for a one hour practice and Qualifying in the afternoon.

Adrian Sutil: It was interesting free practice. Obviously the track is a street circuit so you take some time to get used to it and also for the track to get some rubber back on it. In general it was OK, but we have a few problems with the understeer on the car again and the same procedure with the tyres as in all the previous events - it is very difficult to get the tyres to work well. The long runs are quite quick and I am quite happy about it but over the shorter runs we have to work with the tyres a bit more. I think though with a bit of work we can be quite competitive over the weekend.

Giancarlo Fisichella: I was quite happy with today and am looking forward to qualifying on Saturday. Apart from a small problem in the last session that stopped me from doing my new tyre run, I was quite happy with the set up and the balance. We're working well around the track but we will have to see what happens over the weekend as the weather could change and the track conditions too.

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: A reasonably good day, although both drivers had problems on their last runs on new tyres in the last session this afternoon. Giancarlo had a hydraulic problem that meant he couldn't run at the end and Adrian was on a much quicker lap but unfortunately just clipped the barrier at the last corner. These things can happen though, especially in Monaco. We did however get through a large amount of running and worked through the tyre programme. Overall the cars look quite competitive here so I am sure there is more to come over the weekend.

  • To check out our Monaco practice gallery, click here
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