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Sutil: We didn't go for quickest time

Force India's Adrian Sutil was 'very happy' after setting the pace on the opening day of practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, however he insisted that they weren't specifically going for the best time.

The Silverstone-based outfit was in the lime-light two weeks ago when former number one driver Giancarlo Fisichella shined at Spa-Francorchamps and Sutil maintained that run on Friday at Monza.

Indeed the German took over the mantle as team leader pretty effortlessly and enjoyed a great day in his VJM02. He began proceedings this morning by posting the third best time and he then improved in the afternoon, topping the times and finishing with the quickest lap - a 1m 23.924s, which put him fractionally ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton on the combined timesheets.

“Everything went well today. The car was working perfectly and we can be very happy about the result,” Sutil reflected. “It was a very, very good time that came as a result of some good work, a great set-up and getting the tyres to work well.

“We didn't try specifically to go fastest but if you are on top of your game and the car is working well there's no reason why you couldn't be P1 at the end of the session. It was a very productive day on a very cool track and it's good to have some fun right now.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi meanwhile is making his Force India race debut this weekend and he was 16th quickest in first practice and 12th in the second, his best effort a 1m 24.921s, around a second off Sutil.

“Today was much better than the straight line testing!” said the Italian, who has spent the last two year's as the squad's test and reserve driver. “It's a completely different approach as you get used to the rhythm, the braking points and I think it's a great challenge.

“We went for longer runs and covering a race distance and everything is going in the right direction. For now I am taking it a bit easy as I want to get used to the tyres and the car and tomorrow we will work on the lap time for qualifying.

“We knew we would have a competitive car and I felt the balance was good, and there is still at least half a second more as I had some traffic on some of my fastest laps. It's just the beginning of the weekend but I am really happy about how it went. I think the car is responding really well and we are optimistic for tomorrow.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Adrian Sutil [Pic credit: Force India]
Adrian Sutil [Pic credit: Force India]
Adrian Sutil [Pic credit: Force India]
Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM02, Monaco F1 Grand Prix, 21st-24th, May 2009
Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM02, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 27-29th, March, 2009
Adrian Sutil [Pic credit: Force India]

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September 11, 2009 7:15 PM

They seem to go very well, however, they clearly went for P1 at the end there. Sutil was 1st for most of the session but he did do his fastest lap at the very end to beat Grosjean who had the fastest time at that point. I was watching the live timing a little so I didn't see if they changed tires or whatever, but I'm sure they did something like a qualifying lap there. Nevertheless, looks like easy points for them this weekend, at the least. Unfortunately for them BMW and Renault are also going quite well so it will be tough to gain another place in the constructors unless they REALLY score heavily.

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