Sunday, March 16, 2008
Bad luck for Force India f1 in Albert Park circuit
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM01/02)
DNF: Hydraulic Lap 9
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM01/05)
DNF: Accident Lap1
The Australian Grand Prix ultimately brought a double retirement for the team. The disappointment was all the more bitter after a surprising race that produced only few finishers. Giancarlo Fisichella, starting from 16th on the grid following Timo Glock’s 10-place penalty, was a victim of a first-corner accident involving Glock and Piquet, with the resulting damage ending his Force India debut on the spot.
Adrian Sutil started from the pit lane after his qualifying incident cracked his chassis. The German however avoided Giancarlo’s accident and had graduated to 13th position by lap eight, however a hydraulic pressure problem on the following lap also brought his day to a premature end. The team will now move from Australia to Malaysia for the second race of the year, with high hopes of improvements on this race result.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
‘A big disappointment, especially when I watched the race afterwards, but it was good while it lasted. In the opening laps I could stay with the guys in front of me and could overtake to get up to 13th position, but then I had a hydraulic pressure problem. I had to go back to the pits, so at that point my race was over. We have to hope for more in Malaysia, but I think we showed an improvement over last year, particularly over the longer runs in practice, so I am confident we can really do better there.’
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
‘I am very disappointed as I lost the race at the first corner because another driver came in like a kamikaze into my car and it was very frustrating, especially considering a race like this where there was a possibility to score lots of points. It was a good opportunity and I am really disappointed. Let’s hope for more in Malaysia.’
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer
‘A very disappointing first race for Force India and obviously a great opportunity to score points missed, although I am sure a lot of the press releases will also be saying that. Giancarlo was unlucky at the first corner, with someone outside him and with Glock and Piquet not under control coming down on the inside. He just had nowhere to go. With Adrian we had a hydraulic failure, a result of having to rebuild his car from yesterday and not being able to do any installation checks, which was a shame as he was running very competitively and would for sure have had a good result. But overall a positive weekend in terms of car pace and we have to look to get a better result in Malaysia.’
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director
‘I have been very pleased with this weekend, despite the frustration of going out early in this astonishing race. I was however very encouraged with the pace we showed in the practice sessions. Although qualifying was ultimately disappointing, last year in Australia this team was well off the pace, this year we were up with the midfield.
‘It was a shame we missed a point-scoring opportunity here. Overall it was an encouraging weekend and the positive is that we have another event in just one week’s time where we can try again.’