Formula 1: Force India 10th in tests

March 13th, 2009 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Barcelona, March 13 (IANS) Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella clocked a best of one minute, 21.045 as the Formula 1 team stepped up the pace with other drivers during the motorsports test session at the 4.655-km Circuit de Catalunya.
Veteran Rubens Barrichello delivered a blazing 1:18.926 for Brawn GP Thursday as the official winter F1 test session concluded here.

Fisichella felt he could have gone even quicker had he attempted a flier earlier in the day when he felt the track was at its “peak”.

Fisichella, who had done a 1:21.545 Wednesday, ended up 10th quickest among 11 drivers on view, including world champion Lewis Hamilton of McLaren who was eighth at 1:20.869.

The morning session was delayed by fog and Fisichella spent much of the pre-lunch period conducting set-up work. In the afternoon, he got into his stride, covering a race distance while completing a total of 141 laps.

Reflecting on his performance, Fisichella said: “It’s been a good day with 141 laps. We went in the right direction with some set-up work and the car was very reliable so we could really start to work on the balance. It’s not so bad; we just could do with some more aero grip.

“We didn’t do the best lap time when the circuit was at its peak in the morning, otherwise we could have improved the time, perhaps a 20.5, but overall I feel comfortable. It’s quite encouraging. We now know where we need to improve.”

Summing up the team’s eight-day winter test session at Jerez last week and here, technical director James Key said: “It was a very good conclusion to the eight days of testing. Over the week we have completed more than 2,000 km and have a very strong basis to start the season. We don’t have any major concerns and the car is now very reliable so we can really start to look at areas that will improve performance.

“Giancarlo ran a second race distance without any issues and tried both tyre compounds. In more representative temperatures today, they behaved very well and seemed to be good over longer runs. The drivers seem to be happy and, with this in mind, we can concentrate on seeking out the improvements that will move us forward.”

In second spot on the time charts was Nico Rosberg (Williams) in 1:19.774, followed by Timo Glock of Toyota (1:20.091).

The 17-round 2009 Formula season commences in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix March 27-29.

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