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Formula 1

Force India Show Spa Wasn’t A Fluke

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“Today’s Qualifying session showed that Spa was not merely a one-off but that we are genuinely competitive.” the words of Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer for Force India and something that a lot of teams had probably feared ahead of Monza after the excellent result of Belgium.

Adrian Sutil once again topped the practice times in the last practice ahead of qualifying so entered the session upbeat and posted 7th fastest time in Q1, made just two runs in Q2 to put in fourth fastest time and almost took pole position in Q3.

“After the results yesterday and this morning, we wanted to fight for the pole position. We knew the car was up to it and that’s what we showed in qualifying today. We have a great package, this circuit suits us very well as we have an incredible top speed and also a good downforce package so the efficiency of the car is really good.” Sutil said.

The race tomorrow will link Sutil up with former F3 team-mate Hamilton “I’m starting on the front row with Lewis for the first time since F3 and I’m really happy he is next to me, he’s a good friend but we will fight hard for it. I have a lot of respect for him. It’s going to be very difficult start with the KERS cars around me but the race is long, I’ll do what I have to to defend my position and have a good strategy. If the race pace is OK we can gain positions and even if they get past me I have a good, fast car on the straights so it’s going to be tight.”

Tonio Liuzzi couldn’t of hoped for a better Force India debut really after finishing the day in seventh place in front of his home crowd. “Two weeks ago I didn’t expect to be on the grid so this is a fantastic result – better than we expected. The team made a great effort and gave me a lot of support to reach this target. They never gave up and we had a great Friday and Saturday. The race will be difficult physically and mentally but I like the fight, the team are fighters and we will give the maximum in tomorrow’s race. I’m definitely looking forward to racing in front of my home crowd.”

Force India Chairman Vijay Mallya was more than happy with the outcome of the day saying “I’m absolutely delighted with this weekend’s performance so far. We’ve been very strong all weekend and both drivers have been outstanding. Adrian has really showed a great maturity to achieve his best-ever starting position, while Tonio has been a revelation on his debut. Although qualifying is just one part of the equation we are feeling quite upbeat about tomorrow’s race now.”

Former Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella faced a hard time on his Ferrari debut, finishing the session down in 14th place.

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