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Sutil 12th among 13 drivers on final day of testing
February 04, 2008 15:30 IST
Force India driver Adrian Sutil emerged 12th among 13 drivers on the third and final day of Formula One testing in Barcelona on Sunday.
The German clocked a best timing of 1 minute 23.800 seconds after 86 laps of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, on the outskirts of Barcelona. Only Honda's British driver Jenson Button [Images] was slower at 1:23.808 seconds.
Australian Mark Webber was fastest in his Red Bull, clocking 1:22.385, followed by the McLaren Mercedes duo of Heikki Kovalainen (1:22.422) and Lewis Hamilton [Images] (1:22.459).
Sutil took over driving duties to run through a programme of work on set-up and control systems, long run simulations and aero testing. He also practised starts throughout the day.
However, Sutil's day came to a premature end when his car developed a minor mechanical issue towards the close of the afternoon. With heavy rain coming just after the car returned to the garage and the programme finished, the team elected to end the run after 400km of testing.
Sutil said the prospects for the team appeared better with each practice run.
"It was a normal day and we were able to complete our programme. It was very cold and one of our main issues was getting the tyres to work in the colder temperatures. To start with we couldn't quite get the balance because of this but a couple of changes made it a bit better, so it was another day where we learnt."
The overall reliability of the car was a pleasing aspect for Sutil.
"In the end we did a lot of miles and the car was again reliable for the most part of the day. We also did some good work on the starts and we are now very consistent in the systems. I'm feeling more comfortable in the car and more confident."
Force India's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne sounded satisfied with the three-day practice session.
"Today was a slightly better day with Adrian. We stopped slightly earlier as we had a small mechanical issue, but we were still able to do 86 laps and complete our full programme."
The car was performing well under different conditions.
"Again with the lower temperatures, we experienced a low level of grip but we could work through the programme of set-up evaluation. Overall, a productive three-day test and we can now look forward to the team presentation next week in Mumbai and the next test in Jerez," he added.
Force India's next test will be from February 12-14 in Jerez, Spain.
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