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China GP: Race notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
19/10/2008

The Force India Formula One Team's Giancarlo Fisichella has finished a clean if uneventful Chinese Grand Prix in 17th position. The Italian gained three places from his starting position with a consistent and measured drive from start to finish.

Team-mate Adrian Sutil was unfortunate not to take the chequered flag when he was hit by a gearbox problem on lap 14 of the 56 lap Grand Prix. The German had graduated to 17th position and looked set to move further up the field when he was forced to pull of the track before one third distance.

The team will now return to its UK base to evaluate the data from this weekend before launching its final hunt for points in the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks' time.

Adrian Sutil: 'Very early on in the race my car developed a problem. I couldn't select gears anymore and had to pull off just before the main straight and park the car. Until that point I was quite happy in the car, even though the traction and grip was very low so it's disappointing not to finish yet again. I really hope for more in Brazil now.'

Giancarlo Fisichella: 'We knew our pace was not really good enough today so we just tried to find a different solution to gain places. We went for a one stop strategy but I was really struggling with the grip to start with. In the last 10 laps before the end of the race I was able to do reasonable lap times, but it was a fairly lonely race for me at that point. Anyway, we now go onto Brazil and the last race.'

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: 'It was disappointing not to get two cars to the finish today, but Giancarlo did a good job to get the car home in what's been a difficult event for us. Adrian was on a two stop strategy but unfortunately had a failure, which we believe was an electronic matter related to the gearbox. Giancarlo was on a one stop strategy and while the first stint on the harder tyre was OK, with the lapping in the second stint he couldn't really improve his position. We'll now move onto the final race and hope to be more competitive there.'

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director: 'It has been a challenging weekend for the team and to get one finish is at least some small consolation. Giancarlo did everything expected of him, keeping out of trouble and bringing the car home. While 17th position is not something we can get excited about, it is a finish and in an extremely reliable field we need everything we can. Adrian was again unfortunate to be struck by a problem early on. It is a shame but we have to learn from this and move on. I am sure he and the team will be expecting more in Brazil.'

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