Monday, March 2, 2009

A 'frustrating' debut for the VJM02

Monday 2nd March 2009

Giancarlo Fisichella has admitted that it was a "frustrating" debut for Force India's VJM02 with it's first outing at Jerez blighted by a fuel pressure problem as well as rain.

After completing a shakedown of the new car at Silverstone last week, Force India finally put their 2009 challenger up against its rivals at Jerez on Sunday.

However, the team was unable to cover as much running as they had hoped to as a fuel pressure problem saw Fisichella sidelined for part of the day. Added to that there was a rain shower interval around mid-day as well as five red flags.

Despite this, though, Fisichella still managed to set the sixth best time of the eight runners, even outpacing McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa.

"It is a bit frustrating as we could only do 31 laps today, especially as it is very important to try and get as many as possible as we are already late compared to the other teams," Fisi said.

"I'm am however quite surprised and happy about what I felt with the behaviour of the car today. It's very promising and I felt much more consistency, even under braking, and more stability in the high speed corners.

"We need to improve the traction a bit and also the oversteering after a few laps, but this is a problem others have had as well.

"The lap time is good and I am quite pleased as we did it with one set of new tyres and I know I can do much better than this.

"We are not that far away from the other people so I am looking forward to tomorrow and another day with more laps where we can try to improve the car a little bit and concentrate on reliability."

Meanwhile Force India's tech director James Key paid tribute to all those who ensured that the team was ready for this week's test.

"Thanks to McLaren, Mercedes and all the guys back at the factory for all their hard work in getting the car ready for this test. Given the timeframe we've had, to get laps in here is a major achievement," he said.

"It was certainly good to be running today for the first time at a test following our shakedown last week.

"The rain didn't come today as much as expected so we got more time than we thought, although it was difficult to get a clear run with the numerous red flags.

"We also had one simple issue that halted our running, a fuel system problem. We don't feel it is fundamental, we just need to get to the bottom of fixing it.

"Other than this, the car ran very well and behaved as expected. We got a lot of good feedback from Giancarlo and his feel for what the car is doing within its parameters. We will do more running tomorrow, as we need to run through some more baseline set-up as we could only do one set up change here today."

Source : Planet F1

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