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Force India enjoys best Formula One test run

india Updated: Jan 25, 2008 16:09 IST
IANS
Force India enjoyed their best day yet in Formula One testing as Giancarlo Fisichella clocked the 10th quickest time of 1 minute

Force India enjoyed their best day yet in Formula One testing as Giancarlo Fisichella clocked the 10th quickest time of 1 minute, 12.949 seconds on the concluding day of the test session on Thursday.

Fisichella, who completed 96 laps, finished ahead of Renault's Nelson Piquet Jr who clocked 1:12.973.

The 35-year-old Italian, who switched from Renault to Force India this season, said: "It was a good day today and we were able to complete the programme. Apart from the small problem at the end, there were no issues and we could see we were getting closer to the others.

"We did some set-up work, and got some more understanding of the dampers and made some changes to the ride height, which made the car a lot more consistent. Even with lots of fuel and scrubbed tyres, we were closer to the other teams - it would have been interesting to see how close we got - but we are definitely making progress and going in the right direction. I'm pleased with how it's going."

Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne said: "It was an excellent final day and, apart from one minor mechanical issue right at the end of the day, we had no real reliability issues and were able to complete our programme.

"Giancarlo and the team improved throughout the day, completing work on set-up and dampers as planned, and it was just a shame that this improvement was not reflected in a better time as we were not able to run new tyres due to the problem at the end. Overall though, a very useful three-day test for us at this stage in development."

World champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari topped the time chart with a 1:11.189, just ahead of McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen (1:11.206) and team-mate Felipe Massa (1:11.831).

The second McLaren driver, Lewis Hamilton, was yet again outpaced by Kovalainen as he managed 1:11.994 that placed him fifth overall behind Kazuki Nakajima of Williams (1:11.971).

The teams move to Barcelona for the next round of test scheduled for February 1-3.