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F1 Team India positive before Bahrain Grand Prix

Manama, Bahrain, Mar 31 (UNI) After a gruelling Far Eastern double header in Australia and Malaysia, the Force India F1 Team now travels to West Asia for the third event of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 5.412km Bahrain International Circuit is located in the Sakhir desert area south of Manama, the capital city of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Hermann Tilke-designed facility follows the contours of the rolling sand dunes, giving a gently undulating track that combines long straights with tight, narrow corners.

The Force India Formula One Team will be looking to carry forward the strong progress demonstrated in the opening rounds of the championship.

At the previous event in Malaysia the team missed out on entering Q2 for the first time in over a season by the narrowest of margins - just 0.05 secs - and Giancarlo Fisichella raced competitively for 12th position overall. Force India has also improved its average lap time by over two seconds, the biggest improvement of the F1 grid, and now goes to Bahrain hoping to validate these improvements under race conditions and achieve its first double finish of the year.

Driver Adrian Sutil said, ''in Bahrain you need to be quite quick in a straight line, and the teams will be quite close together, but I think with the new upgrades we have in Bahrain we will be much closer than ever to the other teams. It's mainly a hairpin circuit, a few quick chicanes but mainly second gear corners, so it should suit us a bit better.'' ''I think we will be close to reaching second qualifying again. We saw in both Melbourne and Malaysia that Giancarlo was close, and it will be similar again I hope. I feel I've been unlucky in qualifying, and then of course in the race, but I am confident that we won't have the same problem again. I just need to have the opportunity to finish to show what we can really do. We saw in Melbourne that my first lap was very good and the car is more competitive than last year, for sure. I'm looking forward to racing again and getting my first finish of the year,'' he added.

Another driver Giancarlo Fisichella said, ''I enjoy the Bahrain Grand Prix. It is a good track with a long straight that can be very enjoyable if you have a good engine, which we do. There are of course a couple of tricky corners and it is very demanding on brakes, so it proves to be a good challenge.

''My aims will same as in Malaysia: I want to complete the full distance and improve the race pace if we can, although in Sepang our lap times were already pretty competitive. The VJM01 feels well balanced, even if we know there is more to come from it. Hopefully with the new improvements in Bahrain we will be able to investigate some more set up options and should be able to get rid of the understeer that plagued us in Sepang.

''I think we can also try to get into Q2, but this always depends on us getting the perfect lap and maybe one of the others making a mistake - it's very close racing this year, particularly with Toro Rosso and Honda, and I think this battle will continue for the rest of the season.

''In Malaysia we were fighting hard with these two teams and were very close in lap times, especially with Rubens. I think to beat him we need to have a good strategy, but now we know what we have to do, we can look into it in Bahrain. With the race pace we have we can take some risks with the strategies until we know what suits us best. I am looking forward to it,'' he added.


Story first published: Monday, March 31, 2008, 20:56 [IST]
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