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Force India's bad run continues
October 19, 2008 18:31 IST
Force India's search for the elusive maiden point in the current Formula One season continues after Adrian Sutil failed to finish while Giancarlo Fisichella finished 17th at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday.
Fisichella began from the last position of the grid and gained three places when he took the chequered flag in the 56-lap penultimate race of the 2008 Formula One season.
Sutil encountered a gearbox problem on lap 14 and was forced to pull off the track before even completing one third of the race distance.
The German driver, beginning at 19th position, had graduated to 17th but had to face his second consecutive failure.
The team will now return to its base in England [Images] to evaluate the data before launching its final hunt for points in the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks' time.
"Very early on in the race my car developed a problem. I couldn't select gears anymore and had to pull off just before the main straight and park the car.
"Until that point I was quite happy in the car, even though the traction and grip was very low so it's disappointing not to finish yet again. I really hope for more in Brazil [Images] now," Sutil said after the race.
Fisichella admitted that he struggled to adjust to the traction of the track.
"We knew our pace was not really good enough today so we just tried to find a different solution to gain places. We went for a one stop strategy but I was really struggling with the grip to start with," he said.
"In the last 10 laps before the end of the race I was able to do reasonable lap times, but it was a fairly lonely race for me at that point. Anyway, we now go onto Brazil and the last race," Fisichella added.
Mike Gascoyne, the chief technical officer of the team, was naturally disappointed with the result.
"It was disappointing not to get two cars to the finish today, but Giancarlo did a good job to get the car home in what's been a difficult event for us. Adrian was on a two stop strategy but unfortunately had a failure, which we believe was an electronic matter related to the gearbox.
"Giancarlo was on a one stop strategy and while the first stint on the harder tyre was OK, with the lapping in the second stint he couldn't really improve his position. We will now move onto the final race and hope to be more competitive there," he said.
Vijay Mallya [Images], chairman and managing director, took solace from the fact that at least \one car finished the race but did not hesitate in terming the result as 'shameful'.
"It has been a challenging weekend for the team and to get one finish is at least some small consolation. Giancarlo did everything expected of him, keeping out of trouble and bringing the car home.
"While 17th position is not something we can get excited about, it is a finish and in an extremely reliable field we need everything we can. Adrian was again unfortunate to be struck by a problem early on.
"It is a shame but we have to learn from this and move on. I am sure he and the team will be expecting more in Brazil," he said.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage
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