Sutil 9th in final pre-season testing | india | Hindustan Times
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Sutil 9th in final pre-season testing

india Updated: Feb 26, 2008 13:06 IST

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Force India's 2008 car, the VJM01, debuted at the Circuit de Catalunya here with Adrian Sutil finishing ninth in a field of 19 in the final pre-season Formula One test at the Spanish track.

The VJM01, named in tribute to the team's owners - Indian liquor-baron Vijay Mallya and Jan and Michiel Mol - is an evolution of the B-spec F8-VII that Force India's predecessor Spyker launched at the 2007 Italian Grand Prix.

Sutil clocked 1:23.091 to complete 62 laps in the testing in which British sensation Lewis Hamilton was fastest clocking 1:22.276 for his 78 laps on Monday.

"I think the car ran without any major problems and the balance we got in the end was quite OK. We had some small issues ... But for the first day with a new car I am confident as I can feel there is something more to come," Sutil said.

Force India's Test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi finished 12th with a timing of 1:23.239 for his 43 laps.

"We have carried the chassis over from 2007 to 2008, but the car we run at the Australian Grand Prix will have numerous aerodynamic and mechanical updates, which we will be testing from 25 - 27 February at Barcelona before the first race," Force India's chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said.

Despite debuting the new car just two weeks before the start of the season, Gascoyne believes the team will do well in Melbourne.

"We've been testing new parts and looking at reliability. It's just one update we have coming along for the last test and it will be mostly aerodynamic and will have no real impact on reliability," he said.