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Fisichella shines as Force India secures top ten finish in Spain

Barcelona, Apr 27 (UNI) Giancarlo Fisichella set the track on fire as the Force India F1 Team secured a top ten spot, their best-ever finish in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Fisichella drove an excellent race, running as high as the eighth position for several laps and fighting with the BMW of Nick Heidfeld.

''Not too bad, 10th is the best result of the season so far.

I know several cars had accidents but I did my best,'' an elated Fsichella said after the race.

''After the first safety car period, the car was very good.

I was comfortable and I think I was quite competitive. Then in the last stint the grip with the hard tyres wasn't great. I was pushing but I was at the limit with the grip,'' he added. ''I enjoyed the battle with Heidfeld - he was quicker than me but I managed to keep him behind for many laps. Better than yesterday definitely but we still need to work a lot and find something more.'' Unfortunately, Adrian Sutil did not finish the race after a first-lap collision brought his Spanish Grand Prix to a very premature end.

Both drivers made good starts to immediately graduate to the midfield, with Giancarlo up to 15th by the end of the first lap.

After an initial safety car period caused by Adrian's accident, the Italian then pushed hard to be 14th before the first round of pit stops.

His first pit stop was planned for lap 21, however just as he was about to peel into the pits, a second safety car was deployed to remove Heikki Kovalainen's car, and Giancarlo was forced to conserve fuel and stay out until the pit lane was opened.

A short stop ensured he leapfrogged up the order and, with the numerous retirements ahead, was elevated to 8th position by lap 41.

The Italian was, however, bottled up behind a fighting Takuma Sato and was unable to make full advantage of his lighter fuel load.

After a second stop on lap 44, a charging Nick Heidfeld then caught up with Giancarlo and the Italian was soon engaged in a close battle with the BMW driver.

Despite keeping him behind for several laps, Giancarlo eventually submitted on lap 55 to finish his fourth race for Force India in a highly credible 10th position.


Story first published: Monday, April 28, 2008, 10:17 [IST]
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