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Force India manages double finish
September 07, 2008 21:39 IST
Points still eluded Force India but the outfit managed its third double finish of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix with Adrian Sutil finishing 13th and Giancarlo Fisichella 17th on Sunday.
Sutil had a good start to move up two places from his starting position until a spin on lap seven put him back to the rear of the field.
Undeterred, Adrian bettered his times every lap and graduated to 17th by his first stop on lap 17.
A close battle with Jenson Button [Images] of Honda then ensued as Adrian made up 16 seconds in 12 laps until the heavy rain fell in the closing laps.
With just three laps to go Adrian elected to stay on the dry tyres to collect 13th position at the flag fall.
Giancarlo's race was compromised on the first lap when Nakajima spun in front of him. With nowhere to go, Giancarlo crashed into the side of the Japanese, losing his front wing and limping back to the pits for a nose change.
On rejoining he came out just in front of the leaders and was subject to blue flags thereon in. The Italian pushed hard to close the gap to the pack and took full advantage of the wet conditions.
As one of the first to pit for wet tyres, he regained one of his lost laps and came home in 17th position.
Sutil looked pleased with his effort in tough wet conditions and termed the team's performance as 'good'.
"It was a strong race for us, with a good performance. We had quite a lot of fights on the circuit and lots of overtaking. I caught up with Button and was right behind him, but then there was the rain in the last laps," Sutil said.
"As there were just a couple of laps left and we were quite quick on the wet conditions with dry tyres, we stayed out and I could pass him and some other guys. I am quite happy with this race," added the German driver.
Fisichella was disappointed with they way race began for him but said he was happy with the way it ended for him.
"Unfortunately when I went out of the pitlane I was just in front of the leaders and then had blue flags at least 40 times! Towards the end of the race, looking at the weather I called the box and said I wanted to put on the rain tyres.
"It was the right choice but there were just two or three laps left and it would have been nice to have those conditions earlier, but I think considering the start the end result was not too bad," he said.
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer, praised both the drivers for getting the double finish.
"An exciting race in the end and good to get two cars to the finish yet again. Unfortunately Giancarlo's race was compromised at the start. He did a good job to get to the finish from then on and unlap himself at the end to finish just one lap down.
"Adrian was on a two stop strategy, running lower downforce and made some progress early on but then a spin dropped him to the back. He then drove an excellent race, particularly in the closing stages," Gascoyne said.
Vijay Mallya [Images], Force India CMD, expressed satisfaction that his team could beat Honda.
"An extraordinary end to the race - and a great pleasure considering this to get two cars to the flag. Both drivers had excellent drives and kept clean. Once again I think we have had a positive weekend: we've outraced the Hondas and we need to continue this form and pick up some points when the chances come up for the rest of the year," Mallya said.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage
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