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Fisichella signs off testing in style
January 25, 2008 15:45 IST
Force India signed off its three-day testing in Valencia in style, with its Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella completing 96 laps and clocking just under two seconds behind time-sheet topper Kimi Raikkonen [Images] of Ferrari [Images].
The improvement was evident in the team's relative pace over the last three days of testing as Fisichella completed 96 laps with a programme that included work on set-up, dampers, some minor new set-up components and continued honing of the new ECU.
His best time of 1:12:949 seconds was less than two seconds behind Raikkonen, who clocked 1:11.189 on the final day's testing yesterday.
Fisichella in fact could have bettered his timing but for a minor mechanical hiccup that denied him a new tyre run.
Though things could have been even better, Fisichella was not too unhappy.
"It was a good day today and we were able to complete the programme. Apart from the small problem at the end there were no issues and we could see we were getting closer to others.
"We did some set-up work, and got some more understanding of the dampers and made some changes to the ride height, which made the car a lot more consistent," he said.
"Even with lots of fuel and scrubbed tyres we were closer to the other teams - it would have been interesting to see how close we got - but we are definitely making progress and going in the right direction," added the Italian.
Mike Gascoyne, the team's chief technical officer, too did not see reasons to complain.
"It was an excellent final day and, apart from one minor mechanical issue right at the end of the day, we had no real reliability issues and were able to complete our programme," he said.
"Giancarlo and the team improved throughout the day, completing work on set-up and dampers as planned, and it was just a shame that this improvement was not reflected in a better time as we were not able to run new tyres due to the problem at the end.
"Overall though a very useful three-day test for us at this stage in development," he added.
Meanwhile, World champion Raikkonen completed 88 laps to post the quickest timing, pipping McLaren driver Heikki Kovalainen.
Force India's next test will take place in Barcelona from February 1-3. Fisichella will drive on day one, Vitantonio Liuzzi on the second, with Adrian Sutil finishing the test.
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