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Bahrain GP: Practice notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
24/04/2009

Just five days after the Chinese Grand Prix, the Force India Formula One Team took to the track at the Sakhir International Circuit for the first of the practice sessions ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella used the two 90 minute sessions to evaluate the new aero package introduced for this race, which includes a new floor and modified front wing. The drivers completed a combined total of 87 laps despite the scorchingly hot conditions, with ambient temperatures peaking at 39 C and track at 51 C. The pair steadily improved their relative performance over the day and, in one of the closest-ever Fridays where all cars were covered by 1.4secs, finished the second practice with Adrian sitting comfortably inside the top 10 with the seventh best time, only four tenths from the fastest lap, and Giancarlo classified 12th.

Adrian Sutil: 'The second session was quite a bit better as the track was very dirty and sandy in the morning. We also tried the softer tyre that seemed to help a lot with the stability. It's quite good balance-wise for a Friday, we can still tweak the general set-up and we still have to look at the brakes as I'm not 100% comfortable right now. I think the update package has helped us - if I look at my position in the afternoon, I think it is the best position I have been in ever on a Friday. Although it's difficult to draw conclusions from this, the car feels good so let's see how we go tomorrow.'

Giancarlo Fisichella: 'Today I am happier and more comfortable with the car: it feels like we have made a step forward with the new updates. The car is more consistent and I think we have reduced the gap to the others but let's see tomorrow. The team did a fantastic job to have this package here and I look forward to tomorrow to seeing where we are on the grid.'

Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer: 'Today's practice sessions were two of the hottest we've run for quite some time. As expected the circuit grip was initially low but the drivers coped quite well and got to grips with their programmes. Giancarlo looked at some set-up options and Adrian concentrated on the tyres in what was all together a productive day. The updates to the car appear to be working as expected and we are hopeful for a stronger qualifying tomorrow.'

  • To check out our Bahrain practice gallery, click here
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