Force India enjoy extended run

March 10th, 2009 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Barcelona, March 10 (IANS) Force India got into their stride with Adrian Sutil managing 129 laps at the 4.655 km Circuit de Catalunya with an eighth best time of one minute, 22.452 seconds at the second official test session here.
During the 600 km of track run Monday, Sutil was involved in race simulation in preparations for the season opening Australian GP at Melbourne later this month.

Summing up his test session, Sutil said: “I feel quite confident and pleased with the progress we made today. 129 laps is a good achievement and we got a lot more data. We simulated a race and qualifying and actually it felt good. We did a long run, which was very important to see how the tyres react over this distance. I feel actually much more prepared for Melbourne, but let’s see tomorrow if we can improve our times as the track conditions in the morning were not ideal.”

A full grid of 10 teams is participating in the test, notably Honda that was recently bought over by Ross Brawn and re-christened Brawn GP after the Japanese car manufacturer pulled out of Formula One due to the current global financial meltdown.

Brawn has decided to retain Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button thus spiking speculations over Brazilian GP2 driver Bruno Senna getting a race seat.

Britain’s Button clocked a fourth best of 1:21.140 in the course of 82 laps while Barrichello, the veteran racer with 267 GP starts, is expected to take over the test duties later in the week.

Also on view was the Scuderia Toro Rosso that is virtually a junior Red Bull team run on Ferrari engine. Frenchman Sebastian Bourdais clocked a best of 1:22.158 to occupy sixth spot on the time charts.

Topping the timings was BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld with a 1:20.338, followed by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (1:20908) and Toyota’s Jarno Trulli (1:20.937).

McLaren Mercedes, focusing on their aerodynamics package, wound up at the bottom with Heikki Kovalainen doing a 1:22.948, just behind Kazuki Nakajima of Williams (1:22.813).

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