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Fisichella outpaces Hamilton, Force India manage double finish
April 06, 2008 20:45 IST
Giancarlo Fisichella outpaced Lewis Hamilton and cut through a cluttered midfield to finish an impressive 12th as Force India notched up its first double finish of the season in the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir on Sunday.
Starting 18th on the grid, three-time race winner Fisichella proved why he is considered such a high-quality driver and the Italian came up with a sublime show to finish 12th in the race, ahead of, among others, McLaren's Hamilton, Williams driver Kazuki Nakazima, Toro Rosso's Sibastien Bourdais and Red Bull's David Coulthard.
Team-mate Sutil, however, was involved in an opening lap mess and had to pit his car early with a broken nose.
The German would still be happy with his 19th place, especially after failing to finish the races in Melbourne and Sepang.
Felipe Massa, after failing to finish his first two races of the season, bounced back today to claim his second successive Bahrain Grand Prix victory as Ferrari managed a one-two finish with Kimi Raikkonen finishing just behind his Brazilian team-mate.
Hamilton had a chaotic start and things just did not fall in place for the Briton who eventually finished behind Fisichella.
Force India owner Vijay Mallya was naturally elated with the double finish and asserted that the team showed its potential as a true midfield team.
"Reliability was the priority and the double finish has us vindicated," Mallya told PTI.
"The idea was to bring both the cars home and we achieved just that. Giancarlo finished ahead of McLaren, Williams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso cars. It was a tough race, tough on the cars and the drivers but the strong finish gives us confidence about a good show in the European circuits," he said.
Asked if he expected Fisichella to come up with a show like this, Mallya said, "We did not qualify well. If you remember, he finished 12th in yesterday's practice session as well. But then we made tactical errors in the qualifying session. Otherwise, a better grid position would have resulted in an ever better show."
Though Sutil managed his first finish of the season, the German is yet to live up to expectations.
Mallya, however, was not much worried about the youngster.
"I'm not worried with his performance. Racing is like this, you can't predict how the car would behave. I have seen enough strange incidents happening.
"Today his car was damaged early that resulted in a broken nose. So I'm not going to hold it against him," Mallya added.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage