Force India’s weekend in Canada got off to a positive start, with both drivers setting lap times that put them amongst the top ten fastest cars in the field by the end of Friday practice.
Adrian Sutil and teammate Tonio Liuzzi were sixth and tenth fastest, as the team spent the two 90 minute sessions testing upgrades which included a new front wing and new mirror mounting positions.
“It went OK today,” summarised Sutil. “I had a small issue at the end of the morning session so I missed my final run of first practice. The team did a great job to fix it over lunch and we could put in a really good session in the afternoon.
“After the delays we had in Turkey we could finally do a comparison between the standard rear wing and the switchable rear wing (Force India’s F-duct) and I could see the difference it made. In addition to the set up and baseline work we also completed our normal tyre programme.
“The surface grip is one of the lowest in the calendar and the car is moving around a lot so the soft tyre is quite difficult to use, particularly on the long runs. Over one lap it is much better but to go over any sort of distance is very hard as the tyre just grains up so much. It’s the same for everybody though so we’ll look at the information overnight and hopefully there will be a little bit more grip tomorrow when there has been more running.
“The times look pretty good and I felt comfortable so I’m really hopeful of a good result in qualifying.”
Tonio Liuzzi, who had a difficult race last time out in Turkey, was happy with today’s efforts: “Today was very positive and definitely a good place to start from. We went in a good direction and got a lot of information to look at for the qualifying. Everything felt a bit better and I was more comfortable, which shows in the times, but it’s difficult to compare here with other races as the track doesn’t have any grip at all right now.
“Overall I think we’re looking pretty good, particularly with the harder tyre – I think we are spot on with the set-up on this compound. I didn’t get a clear run on the new option tyres in FP2, which was a shame as you only get a couple of laps where they can work at the optimum. It will be an interesting weekend and I think we can be quite encouraged by the speed we’ve shown here today.”
Dominic Harlow, Force India chief race engineer, expects a strong performance from the two drivers this weekend: “We’re satisfied with what was acheived today. The track was very dirty to start with, but things gradually improved.
“Aside from one glitch this morning on Adrian’s car the programmes were well executed. Free Practice two’s tyre evaluations were interesting and there’s certainly plenty to think about for the race.
“Our performance seems reasonable, and with one or two improvements that we can make for tomorrow I think we can be competitive in qualifying and on Sunday.”