Fisichella rounds off Force India's Barcelona testing

Updated: 13 March 2009 08:56 IST

Giancarlo Fisichella rounded off Force India's four-day testing with 141 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, clocking up more than 2000 km overall.

Fisichella rounds off Force India's Barcelona testing

Barcelona:

Giancarlo Fisichella rounded off Force India's four-day testing with 141 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, clocking up more than 2000 km overall before returning to its Silverstone base to prepare for the season opener in Melbourne later this month.

Fisichella brought the programme to a productive close with a simulation of a race weekend and completed 141 laps with a fastest lap of 1min 21.045, which placed him 10th among 11 drivers, just ahead of Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais (1:21.629).

Held back by fog, Fisichella conducted initial set-up checks before launching into qualifying runs. Post-lunch, the Italian moved onto longer runs and put in a full race distance.

"It's been a good day with 141 laps. We went in the right direction with some set-up work and the car was very reliable so we could really start to work on the balance," Fisichella said.

"We didn't do the best lap time when the circuit was at its peak in the morning otherwise we could have improved the time, perhaps a 20.5, but overall I feel comfortable. It's quite encouraging, we now know where we need to improve," said the veteran driver.

Technical director James Key said the comprehensive testing gave the outfit a very strong foundation to work on.

"Over the week we have completed more than 2,000km and have a very strong basis to start the season from. We don't have any major concerns and the car is now very reliable so we can really start to look at areas that will improve performance," he said.

"The drivers seem to be happy and, with this in mind, we can concentrate on seeking out the improvements that will move us forward," he added.

The team will now return to its Silverstone base to consolidate the data gained over the two tests and begin final preparations for the Australian Grand Prix in just over two weeks' time.

Tonio Liuzzi will conduct a shakedown of the second chassis at Silverstone circuit on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Brawn BGP 001 continued to impress at Circuit de Catalunya with Rubens Barrichello finishing fastest in the newly-launched car, his best time of 1m 18.926s was eight-tenths of a second better than Williams' Nico Rosberg.



Topics : Formula 1 Michael Schumacher Giancarlo Fisichella Jenson Button Narain Karthikeyan Lewis Hamilton
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