Force India's weekend at Hockenheim got off to the best possible start as Adrian Sutil topped the first practice timesheets for the Silverstone based team.
Sutil, in his home Grand Prix, once more showed his prowess in the wet conditions during the opening session, during which heavy rain hit the 5.47km track.
By the end of the 90 minute session, and despite conditions improving, Sutil's time of 1:25.701 over a second clear of Felipe Massa's Ferrari (1:26.850).
“The first session was obviously very good,” he said after the day's running was completed. “We went out on the extremes first of all and I could set some quick times and felt very confident in the conditions. When a drier line came out later on we then switched to the intermediate tyres and, again, the car behaved very well and I came out P1, which was a nice feeling in front of my home crowd.”
The day's second session saw better conditions (though the field's efforts at set-up work were again affected by rain) and fastest times nearly ten seconds faster than Sutil's initial benchmark. Despite the rain the team used the session to work on assessing the Bridgestone tyres and though among the front runners after the opening runs of the session both Sutil and teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi missed the window of the best conditions to set faster laps, chief race engineer Dominic Harlow explaining how both cars were running the option tyres when it, once more, began to rain. Sutil and Liuzzi finished the session 14th and 16th respectively, with both drivers peaking in the 1:17 bracket.
“In the afternoon I think we had a good balance on the car, but we put new sets on just when the rain came so I couldn’t do a good lap time,” Sutil explained. “The position is not really representative of where we are here and we know we can be much stronger. The long run pace was good and I have a positive feeling for tomorrow.”