Double finish delights Force India
The miracle Force India was praying for didn't happen in the end and their double finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix notwithstanding, the newest kid on the Formula One block ended its maiden season without a point.other Updated: Nov 03, 2008 11:19 IST
The miracle Force India was praying for didn't happen in the end and their double finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix notwithstanding, the newest kid on the Formula One block ended its maiden season without a point.
The Brazilian Grand Prix was the last chance to break the duck and Giancarlo Fisichella drove an excellent race, running as high as third at one stage, before an undetected clutch problem cooked his goose and the Italian eventually finished a disappointing 18th.
His younger German teammate Adrian Sutil ran a steady race in the chaotic rain-soaked track to finish 16th.
Fisichella's maiden points this season looked agonisingly close after the Italian had made an inspired early call to change to dry tyres on lap two following the heavy rain on the grid.
The Italian catapulted to the third position when the rest of the field pitted some five laps later and he held a points scoring finish until his first pit stop on lap 38.
An undetected clutch problem, however, led to two stalls in the pit and Fisichella dropped from the sharp end of the field to the rear.
The points may have slipped through his fingers but the driver was happy with the way he raced.
"It was an exciting race, with so many things happening," Fisichella said.
"It was a good decision to go to the dry tyres after the safety car came out and then it was looking very good. This part of the race was fantastic, even though it was very difficult through the first part of the circuit...The lap time was getting much better, then for a while I was in the first three and was keeping a good pace.
"Unfortunately in the first pit stop I had a problem with the clutch and dropped right back. In both stops there was no clutch and I lost a lot. "In the rain at the end we tried to gamble with the extreme tyres as there was nothing to lose. Despite the result though it was an incredible start to the race and we can be pleased with the performance," Fisichella added.
Sutil was also happy to bring home the car.
"I think it was a good finish for this season - at least we could see the chequered flag. We had two cars behind us too, which was a good effort. It was quite difficult at the beginning to get the strategy right with the tyre choice. We started on the intermediates and then went back to drys and it worked out quite well for us.
"On the first set we had a lot of graining but the second was quite alright. We gambled at the end with the extreme wets as it was very dark and looked like it would rain very heavily. The rain didn't come soon enough though and we struggled, but overall we did the maximum we could," said the youngster.
Chairman and Managing Director Vijay Mallya said despite ending the year without any point, Force India proved it could be quite competitive.
"It would have been a dream result for us to get points in our last race of the year and for some time it looked like that dream would come true," Mallya said.
"Unfortunately it just did not go our way, but we showed we could make the calls and race competitively. I would like to thank my team, my drivers and all our valued sponsors for sticking with it, not losing faith and pushing right until the very end. We know things can only get better now," he added.