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Fisichella damages car after crash in practice
April 03, 2009 16:40 IST
Giancarlo Fisichella's [Images] spectacular sideswiping of the barrier left his car with suspension damages but not before the Italian and his Force India teammate Adrian Sutil [Images] had recorded times just over a second off the fastest lap in free practice sessions in Sepang, Malaysia, on Friday.
Fisichella's 1:37.025s in the first session was good enough for 12th place among 20 drivers while Sutil (1:37.241) came 15th.
In the second session, the order changed, with Sutil improving his timing to 1:36.875 to be placed 16th, while Fisichella (1:37.432) dropped to 19th.
Ferrari [Images] seemed to have woken up from slumber with Kimi Raikkonen [Images] (1:35.832) and Felipe Massa [Images] (1:35.954) clocking the fastest times in the opening practice ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The only blip in Force India's programme came in the second session when Fisichella put a wheel on the grass at turn 11 and went into the gravel trap and the barriers.
His VJM02 sustained suspension damage with the impact but will be repaired overnight in time for Saturday's final practice session and qualifying.
"It's a shame about the accident in the afternoon. I just went a little bit wide as there was some graining on the tyres and I lost control of the car. It was just unlucky to go onto the gravel and into the barriers," Fisichella later said.
"We are still finding the best compromise under braking as there is front locking and poor grip and traction, so we have to work a lot to make the balance work for us. Over the longer runs it doesn't look too bad however," Fisichella added.
Sutil, meanwhile, was happy with the way his car behaved even though he felt understeer remained a a problem.
"It was a good day today overall. We got through all our work and had no problems with the car. We have some work to do with the set up, it's still a bit under-steery in the high speed corners and we can still make some improvements in this respect.
"The soft tyres seem to work quite well, but the hard tyre at the moment is really hard and never seems to come in. Overall it was a pretty productive day to set us up well for the weekend," he said.
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