Force India was the surprise package of the Australian Grand Prix, with Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta finishing seventh and eighth respectively, and Sutil even led large parts of the race after perfecting his strategy. As they look to repeat this result, the team has made good progress ahead of qualifying in Malaysia tomorrow.
“The morning went okay and the balance was quite good,” said Sutil.
“We made a change during the lunch hour to cure some oversteer and my general feeling with the car is good. I managed a run on the hard and the medium this afternoon so I’ve got a feel for both the tire compounds.”
Sutil finished 6th in Free Practice 1 and 10th in Free Practice 2, and teammate di Resta finished a sold eighth in both sessions. The Scottish driver was also pleased with his Friday pace, although di Resta did admit that he had work to do overnight.
“I think we’ve had a reasonable day. We’ve got some tyre data and first impressions suggest that our performance level is pretty similar to where it was in Melbourne last week. Hopefully we can continue the progress overnight.
“Generally I’m fairly happy but, as always, there’s some work to do tonight to make sure we’re comfortable on both the compounds going into the race.”
Force India will be keen on improving in qualifying, but the team are better-prepared for Saturday than the race on Sunday according to chief engineer Jakob Andreasen.
“We don’t have as much long run data as we would ideally like, but we have enough information to make some sensible predictions.”
If Force India can secure another strong double-score in Malaysia, they would be in a strong position to bridge the gap to the front-runners in China. With tire wear proving problematic for many of the teams this weekend, Sutil and di Resta are likely to benefit from how easy the VJM06 is on its tires.