Fisichella drives Force India out of relegation zone, finishes 13th

Monza, Italy, Sep 13 (UNI) Force India Formula One Team made history today when Giancarlo Fisichella finished 13th in Q1 and managed to send at least one of its cars past the relegation zone, on to Q2 for the Italian Grand Prix after a rain-hit qualifying session here.

While Fisichella will start tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix in the 12th place, his teammate Adrian Sutil will be at the 20th place.

Force India is currently the only team that has not managed to register a point at the championships' table.

In a fantastic start, Sutil, who is an excellent wet weather driver, managed to build in some quick laps constantly finishing in the top five.

Where the slippery conditions got the cars sliding all around, the Force India cars were all stable and sound. But soon Sutil lost steam and Fisichella took over.

On the brink of getting caught in the relegation zone yet again, Fisichella drove a brilliant last lap to finish thirteenth and qualify for Q2.

Sutil, in spite of showing early signs of a Monaco repeat, finished twentieth.

Force India and Honda were the only two teams that failed to have at least one driver represent them in the top ten in qualifying.

Fisichella admitted that the conditions were difficult at the start of the first session but was pleased with his day's effort.

''Of course I'm really pleased to be able to give the team its first entry into Q2 this year and particularly here.

''It was difficult to find some grip but they improved at the end and that was when I was able to find some space and push. We went out as soon as we could in the second session as the rain was getting heavier and we really did the optimum - we weren't too far from Q3 with the quickest lap,'' Fisichella said.

He further said the rain just got worse which made it allmost impossible to improve but the Italian was looking forward to the race which he predicted would be exciting.

''I'm really looking forward to the race, and with the predicted rain I think it will be very exciting. I'm going to try hard here - I scored my first win in similar conditions in Brazil with this team, and although that's going to be difficult here, we can at least try for points,'' he added.

On the other hand, Sutil looked a bit disappointing with the wet condition where he said he did manage to have a good control.

''A bit disappointing as I had a good balance in the rain.

The first set of tyres worked really well and we were very competitive but then I changed tyres and suddenly we lost all the grip and I was about six tenths a lap slower in better conditions.

''We have to figure out what went wrong, but all the same I think that we've got every chance of making up for this tomorrow,''Sutil said.


Story first published: Saturday, September 13, 2008, 22:03 [IST]
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