Fisichella upbeat on Force India upgrades, despite crash 26 Jun 2008
At the beginning of the season Vijay Mallya told his Force India team they had to improve as it was simply too far to walk to the back of the grid. Thus far in 2008 hes still been getting plenty of exercise, but that could change at next weekends British Grand Prix thanks to a major car upgrade. Giancarlo Fisichella got to test it on Wednesday. An accident may have brought an early halt to proceedings, but the Italians gut instinct tells him the changes are made of the right stuff, as he explained to Formula1.com...
Q: Giancarlo, the start into the season was very promising. Then came the drought - either not finishing or finishing last. What was the cause of this setback?
Giancarlo Fisichella: Yes, it started very promising. But obviously all our efforts were concentrated on closing the gap from last year and when the other teams introduced their 2008 updates we lost touch again.
Q: Where do you see the weak spots of the team? With a new ownership structure in place it obviously needs a bit more time to come together...
GF: The team itself is great, no questions about the people. On the other hand, the car lacks aerodynamic grip and that is the area where we must concentrate our efforts.
Q: There were demands from the team recently for you and Adrian (Sutil) to raise your qualifying performance. Is the car permitting that?
GF: I think the team knows we have topped the performance chart. In more than one race weekend I have been faster than the simulation, so there is very little else Adrian and I can give with the current configurations.
Q: A significant upgrade package was announced for the British Grand Prix. You tested those upgrades yesterday, prior to your encounter with the barriers at Becketts. What were your first impressions?
GF: My test was halted halfway through by an accident so I could not complete the day. But my initial feeling was positive.
Q: What caused the accident? Are you okay?
GF: A gust of wind and a less than perfect (car) balance. A check of my wrist showed no abnormality.
Q: Will that crash have any follow-on impact on next weekends race? The car suffered extensive damage
GF: It was not as bad as it looked and the boys will finish it for Adrian to complete the test.
Q: The French result was far from satisfying, but at least both cars finished. Reliability seems to be the Achilles heel of the VJM01
GF: Well, we sometimes have had problems, but it was good to see the chequered flag after three consecutive DNFs.
Q: Next weeks Silverstone race marks the middle of the season. Will the second half see happier faces at Force India? Are points on the horizon?
GF: No comments for the moment. Lets see the impact of the new package in terms of lap times, then we can draw conclusions.
Q: This year seems to be very difficult for the smaller teams: they have to push forward with the development of this years car and at the same time set aside resources for the 2009 car with the new regulations. Honda, for example, appear to be focusing the majority of their efforts on 09. Is that also the case at Force India?
GF: After this package and the new seamless gearbox that should be it (for 2008). It is quite understandable that more efforts must go to the 2009 car as that is very important for our project.
Q: Some months ago you said that you were very happy at your new team. Is that still the case?
GF: Very happy, yes I am. But as every one of my colleagues would say, I want a faster car!