Force India banking on new aero parts, Fisichella's experience
Sutil said conditions would be tough and the track was bumpy too but he was still looking forward to get into the second qualifying session.india Updated: Mar 20, 2008 21:04 IST
After the Melbourne heartbreak, Force India will bank on new aerodynamic parts and Giancarlo Fisichella's experience to make a mark in Sunday's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit here.
Drivers, who struggled at Melbourne's sun-baked Albert Park last Sunday, would find themselves in even more extreme conditions here and though that remains a worry, new aero developments and Fisichella's vast experience, including his 2006 win here with Renault, have boosted Force India's morale.
So, though neither he nor his younger German teammate Adrian Sutil could finish the race in Melbourne, Fisichella oozed confidence of making amends here.
"As we went out very early in Australia, we could not demonstrate how much closer we now are relative to the other teams. The VJM01 feels more consistent and stable, and now we have some new aero parts coming for this race. I think we can make another step forward," Fisichella said.
"I have good memories of the race here too. I won in 2006 with Renault and, although we will not be in that position now, I do think we should be able to put in a good performance," said the Italian.
"My aim is the same as before -- I want to take the team into second qualifying for the first time, and then finish the race. As Australia showed, anything can happen and if we are there, then we have a good chance of picking up a good result," he added.
Sutil said conditions would be tough and the track was bumpy too but he was still looking forward to get into the second qualifying session.
"I am really disappointed that I did not get into second qualifying and then could not finish the race in Australia, as I think we could have finished very high up with the way the race went. But you just have to forget that now and look forward to the next event. Q2 is for sure my aim, and I really think we could make it this time," Sutil said.
Team owner Vijay Mallya too took a glass-half-full view of the Melbourne race and said the double retirement notwithstanding, the team derived lot of positives from the season opener.
"The Australian Grand Prix gave us much encouragement. With strong performances from both drivers over the weekend we showed an improvement over this time last year. It was disappointing not to get to second qualifying and then to have the double retirement, but even so, the morale is high," he said.
Team principal Colin Kolles echoed his view and said, "I was very pleased with Australia despite the ultimate race result, and I think we can continue the trend in Malaysia this weekend.
"Giancarlo has won at the track before and now Adrian has previous experience of the circuit after his first Malaysian race in 2007. The drivers complement each other very well and we seem to be getting the most out of the car. The rest of the field looks strong, but I think we can be there fighting too," he said.
Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said the team would stick to its target of making the cut for the second qualifying session and take it from there.