Mixed day for Force India

The Spanish Grand Prix was a day of mixed fortunes for the Force India Formula One Team as Giancarlo Fisichella secured an encouraging 14th position while Adrian Sutil suffered the disappointment of a first lap retirement. Adrian made a good start from 19th position and had gained four positions into the first corner. Unfortunately through turn three he made contact with Jarno Trulli, who had skewed off line in his own separate incident. Adrian’s VJM02 picked up extensive damage and he retired on the spot. 2009 Spanish Grand Prix Race Report

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/03)DNF:  Accident (Lap 1)

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04)14th:  1:37:50.740 (+ 1 lap)

Giancarlo stayed clear of the melee and took advantage of the subsequent safety car period to pit for tyres and adjust his strategy. When the safety car withdrew Giancarlo stayed with the pack and had graduated to 10th by his first pit stop on lap 30. A long middle stint saw him fighting with Kubica, Piquet and Nakajima for 10th, however a problem with the fuel rig during his final stop dropped him to the rear of the field. The rig failed to discharge fuel when connected and Giancarlo was forced to return to the pits on the next lap. The Italian rejoined and continued to set his fastest times in the final 10 laps - including the 8th fastest lap of the race - to finish in 14th overall.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)‘I had a good start but then as I accelerated away from turn three I saw a car flying into me. Jarno had spun on the inside of the corner and he was just in front of me and I couldn’t do anything. It went so quickly and my car was damaged and I had to stop straight away. I wasn’t injured, just disappointed I couldn’t get to the end. I will have a good look at the accident after the race, but it was just one of those incidents that can happen at the start.’

Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)‘The first corner was quite messy as Trulli spun in front of me and there was a lot of debris around the circuit. I was a little worried about having picked up some damage but in the end I was out of trouble and didn’t pick up anything. We decided to change the tyres under the safety car though and change the strategy, which was a good choice in the end. At the beginning the car was quite heavy and I tried to keep my pace. It wasn’t easy but then the car was getting better and in the last 10 laps I was one of the quickest on the circuit. Unfortunately in the last pit stop we had a problem with the refuelling so I had to come in and do another extra pit stop, which cost me the chance to go back ahead of Nakajima. Overall the car balance and grip were good so it’s encouraging for future races.’

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal‘Although the result was a fairly average one for us, I think there are positives we can take away. We’ve kept the upgrades coming through and, while we haven’t moved up the order, we certainly are closer than ever. Giancarlo’s times in the latter stages of the race also demonstrate a strong race performance and that we’ve got potential to achieve more. I think we can now look forward to Monaco with some confidence: we have further development coming through and it’s also been a good track for us in the past.’

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