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Force India confident ahead of Spanish GP
« on: April 24, 2008, 04:39:24 PM »

Force India confident ahead of Spanish GP

New Delhi: The timesheet at its recent testing at the Circuit de Catalunya says the newest kid on the Formula One block is now making rapid strides.

Force India team management, however, refuses to bloat or gloat even though the outfit remains quietly confident ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Both Force India drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil clocked up impressive timings in last week’s testing on the same circuit in Barcelona.

While Fisichella posted the second fastest time on day two of the three-day test, Sutil was third fastest on the final day.

Though both the fastest laps were set on the slick tyres — without grooves and best in dry conditions — meant for the next year, it still was an impressive show by the duo. Force India’s chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, however, is not going overboard.

“Both our fastest laps were set on the ‘slick’ tyres available for 2009 that give a lot more grip but nevertheless, the progress we made with the 2008 tyres and set-up was very positive,” he said before leaving for Barcelona.

Gascoyne reckons the team is moving in the right direction and he says both the drivers would be upbeat as they go for the Spanish Grand Prix and subsequent races.

“We were much quicker round the circuit than we were in pre-season testing, which is a culmination of all of the new parts we have introduced since the start of the season. I think we can go to Barcelona and beyond in a positive mood,” Gascoyne said.

There was a marked improvement since the team last tested in Barcelona in February and Gascoyne believes the new aerodynamic package has made the difference.

“The principal reason for the improvement has been aerodynamic. We have a continuous cycle of development from the start of the season, as we now have our two 50 per cent wind tunnels working round the clock, our own in Brackley and then the Aerolab facility in Italy, and the added support of the Lola tunnel.

“The programme is working very well and the development work they have done has transferred onto the car very positively,” he explained.

Team owner Vijay Mallya has assured the team management that he does not expect them to wield a magic wand and win a race with this car. But he asserted that the team has to manage a podium finish when India hosts it’s first Formula One race in 2010. (PTI)
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