Force India gears up for Spanish Grand Prix

Barcelona, Apr 22 (UNI) After three long haul races in four weeks, Force India will look to carry forward their momentum to the Spanish Grand Prix, their first race on the European continent.

''This week's Spanish Grand Prix will be as close as it has been in the past. I enjoy the track, it is one of my favourite circuits so if we play it right,'' Force India Giancarlo Fisichella said. ''I think we have a good chance. Our closest opponents at the moment are probably Toro Rosso and Honda; we are all just outside the point scoring area and are fighting for any chance. I want to be there fighting again this year and taking advantage of anything that comes our way.'' ''The VJM01 for sure seems to be moving forward with each race, and the Barcelona test confirmed this very clearly. It has more grip overall, but especially under braking, so it is more stable and we are able to push. We've gone from a 1min 22.2 sec lap round Barcelona in February to a 1min 20.7 sec at the test last week, which even if some is down to improved track conditions, it is still a step forward,'' he added.

''With new aero parts coming in Spain too, I am pretty sure we can carry on with this progress as all the parts that have been fitted to the car so far have worked really well - our aero department has got the right ideas!'' The Spanish Grand Prix will be held at the 4.655km Circuit de Catalunya here. It's a track all the teams know inside-out and back-to-front from the laps they pound there during pre-season testing: Force India alone put in a total of six calendar days and nine car days over two winter tests, covering 3,491km or 750 laps, more than 11 race distances.

Force India impressed in the first three races, which showed the team racing in the midfield and getting ever-closer to going into Q2 for the first time since the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix.

At the last race in Bahrain, the team achieved its first double finish of the year and, with new developments, honed in a further three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya last week. There's reason to hope the upward trend will continue.


Story first published: Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 18:35 [IST]
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