March 15th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - The 2013 season has started well for Force India, after Adrian Sutil proved he is not the slightest bit rusty by finishing both Free Practice sessions in the top ten, with team-mate Paul Di Resta nursing a damaged car to 12th in FP2.
Force India spent the latter part of 2012 moving steadily towards the front of the field, culminating in a very strong performance at the season finale in Brazil, where Nico Hulkenberg led the race until he crashed out. The strong form is clearly carrying over into 2013, and the team seems revitalised by the return of Sutil, who is significantly more experienced than his young Scottish team-mate Di Resta.
After a Friday that was both competitive and reliable, Force India can now look forward to qualifying, where they will be aiming to progress to the top ten in order to setup a competitive race day on Sunday.
Force India's Friday results:
|8||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.426||1.215||19|
|13||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.910||1.699||18|
|9||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.435||1.527||35|
|12||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.311||2.403||37|
This is what the team had to say after the Friday sessions:
Paul Di Resta: “It wasn’t the easiest of days because I had a balance issue with the car in the second session. It looks like I picked up some damage, so it was not easy to gauge exactly where we are. Given that it’s likely to be wet tomorrow, it was crucial to get all the tyre information we needed today. There is a noticeable difference between the two compounds, but it’s difficult to say much more until we have been over all the data.”
Adrian Sutil: “It was a very good day and I feel satisfied. The baseline set-up was not too far away from what we needed and the car felt very similar to the way it performed in Barcelona at the final test. I had a good feeling all day and enjoyed working with my engineers, who I already know very well. The track is obviously evolving and improving, but we got a good feel for the tyres. The main focus tonight is to work on improving the balance on the super-softs.”
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: “A typical day of Friday practice to start the season. The cars are working well and we were able to pick up where we left off in the Barcelona test. Adrian settled back into the routine seamlessly and worked his way steadily through the programme. The only issue of the day was some damage to the floor of Paul’s car, which we were unable to fix, so that compromised his car’s performance this afternoon. Overall we’re well prepared going into the weekend and possibly anticipating some wet weather tomorrow.”