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Chinese GP: Practice notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
17/04/2009

The third event of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship got underway today at the modern Shanghai International Circuit, China, with two 90 minute free practice sessions. As the track is unused for racing activities for the greater part of the year it typically takes some time for a layer of rubber to be laid down and, with this in mind, Force India adjusted its programme to conduct the bulk of the running in the afternoon's session.

Both Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella completed their programmes of set-up optimisation and comparing the tyre compounds available this weekend. Adrian enjoyed a strong day as he set the 14th quickest time in the morning and the 11th in the afternoon, just over one second from the pace-setting Brawn GP. Team-mate Giancarlo had a tougher day as he struggled to find a good balance on the VJM02, but with 50 laps over the day he gathered lots of information to improve overnight.

Adrian Sutil: 'It is a change to be here at this time of year. We are used to having around 30 degrees here so with the cooler temperatures it's much easier to drive although the tyres take a bit longer to warm up. The medium tyres are OK over the longer run, but very hard over a single lap. The supersoft on the other hand is fine for one lap but not as bad as we expected over the longer runs. Overall it went OK, we completed our work and the general balance is good. I'm pleased with the position so I think it was a good start.'

Giancarlo Fisichella: 'I'm not particularly happy with how today went. I am struggling with the car balance at the moment. It's not consistent just yet and I don't feel entirely comfortable. At the moment we don't have a problem with the tyres - in these temperatures we are pretty much OK. We have some ideas of what we can do so I think we will improve for tomorrow.'

Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer: 'This weekend is going to be all about how we use the dry tyres and our Friday programme reflected this. We tried a lot of different things in a structured test and the VJM02 has been reliable and responsive to changes so far. The track was quite green today and hence low grip but it will evolve over the next two days and that will be something we have to account for as we approach qualifying and the race. It will be another tight qualifying session tomorrow.'

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