Sutil 7th fastest in afternoon practice session
Shanghai: Adrian Sutil clocked the ninth best time of the morning session on Friday before returning to finish seventh fastest in the afternoon as Force India made all the right noise ahead of Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix here.
Friday’s practice session got underway under unseasonal chilly conditions at Shanghai International Circuit and Sutil’s 1:38.008s placed him ninth in the morning timesheet.
The afternoon saw a marginal improvement in grip levels and Sutil bettered his time to record the seventh best lap of 1:36.254.
Force India’s test driver Paul di Resta, celebrating his 24th birthday today, was back in action in the morning session posting the 15th fastest time before paving way for race driver Vitantonio Liuzzi who closed the day with the 16th best lap after difficult runs on the softer tyre compound.
Hispania driver Karun Chandhok, meanwhile, completed 20 laps in the morning sessions and his best of 1:43.949 put him at the 23rd place.
In the afternoon, the Chennai driver put up a slightly improved show completing 32 laps and his best of 1:41.008 had him at 21st.
“It was a good practice. We could learn things about the circuit and we got the base line. Unfortunately, we noticed a lot of graining on the front tyres. The second practice was useful for us as I could cover 52 laps today and some long runs,” Karun later said.
For Force India, it was yet another smooth day in office with Sutil oozing confidence of doing well on Sunday.
“It was quite a good day, with no real problems. The track conditions were not very good out there to start with. It was very green and hard on the tyres, particularly the harder set we used in the morning. The grip improved over the day but even at the end it was still very low,” Sutil said.
“The balance of the car was good though and I think we looked pretty strong on both types of compound so, with this in mind, I’m expecting a similar qualifying and race performance to Malaysia,” added the German.