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Fisichella impresses in Jerez testing
February 15, 2008 16:50 IST
Veteran Italian Giancarlo Fisichella clocked in a string of competitive times to finish 11th quickest of the 16 drivers as Force India completed its penultimate winter test in Jerez in style.
After taking over from German teammate Adrian Sutil, the Italian underlined the continuing progress of the team and in better conditions recorded a best of 1min 20.669 as he worked through a programme of gearbox, electronic development and set-up.
The Formula One team, part-owned by Vijay Mallya [Images], could not have asked for a better day and the outfit completed just under 400km, bringing the overall test mileage to over 1,200km.
"Today was a good day. We were able to put in a lot of laps without any major problems and I felt more comfortable in the car," an elated Fisichella said on Thursday.
"We worked through a programme of set-up and some development items and even with a reasonable fuel load we were still able to put in some competitive times," he added.
The team's next test will be in Barcelona from February 25 - 27 when the VJM01, to race in Melbourne, will hit the track for the first time.
"I'm looking forward to the next test when we will have some more new items on the VJM01 and we'll have a more representative indication of where we are," the driver said.
Chief race and test engineer Dominic Harlow was equally pleased after the satisfying outing.
"A good day to complete the test here in Jerez. Again very nice conditions this morning allowed some progress on set-up to be made," he said.
"On top of this, a range of other test items were covered and the team will return to Silverstone having completed the major objectives for this test to begin preparation for the final 'Race Team' test prior to the first Grand Prix in 30 days time," Harlow said.
McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen became the only driver of the week to clock a time under the 1m 18s mark and his best lap, a 1m 17.974, was over half a second better than David Coulthard of Red Bull.
Kazuki Nakajima (1:19.117) of Williams stood third, ahead of Lewis Hamilton [Images] (1:19.429).
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