Force India delighted with testing work at Silverstone

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Force India’s chief race engineer Jakob Andreasen has praised the entire team for their work over the past three days at Silverstone during the young driver test as Paul di Resta, Adrian Sutil and James Calado all put in sold performances for the British-based team.

“It has been an excellent three days of testing for us,” Andreasen said in a team report. “Everything went according to plan and was executed perfectly by the team. We’ve generated all the data we needed and given Pirelli a lot of information on their new tires.”

Andreasen also heaped praise upon the team’s designated young driver, James Calado, for doing so well during his first full test in a Formula One car.

“As for the drivers, I want to say a big well done to James Calado. He did a superb job for us and settled in very quickly with the team. We’ve been working with him for a few months during our aero tests, but he was on the top of his game this week and gave us some great feedback.”

The weather was also perfect for testing as the traditional British weather subsided to allow Silverstone to bask in bright sunshine and hot temperatures.

“As for the weather conditions, we could not have asked for more. In fact, it was actually a bit tougher because of the heat, but the consistent temperatures over the three days were ideal for testing.”

Force India currently lie 5th in the constructors championship ahead of next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Teammates James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens earn top-fives at Barber

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For the first time this season, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates James Hinchcilffe and Robert Wickens earned top-five finishes in the same race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Hinchcliffe finished third in the Grand Prix of Alabama; Wickens was one spot behind in fourth.

Wickens had one previous podium at Phoenix with his second-place finish. Hinchcliffe’s best result was a fourth in the season-opener in St Petersburg, Fla., so this marked his first podium of the year.

Both drivers needed a little help from the rain.

As precipitation began to fall in the closing stages of the race, Hinchliffe asked his team on a couple of occasions if it was wet enough to pit for rain tires. He was told twice to stay out and was then called into to the pits at the optimal time.

“Solid weekend for us after coming here before – not a great test,” Hinchcliffe said. “Two cars in the top 10 qualifying; two cars, top five in the race. Pretty proud of these boys, everybody on the Arrow car.”

The rain helped Wickens’ race strategy come together.

“I was having to save a lot of fuel in that second stint,” Wickens said. “So once (Scott) Dixon starting getting close to me I was thinking ‘Oh God, I’m going to actually have to give this one up.’ And then the rain came, so the fuel mileage happened naturally. So, yeah, it saved us a bit.”

And while both were pleased with their top-five finishes, drivers are rarely satisfied unless they are standing on the top step of the podium.

Wickens’ top-five finish was hard-fought. After winning the pole at St Petersburg and starting sixth at Phoenix, he failed to advance to the Fast 6 in back-to-back races at Long Beach and Barber – qualifying 10th both times.

“I was a little gutted that we came out in a big bunch of traffic,” Wickens continued. “It made the race fun, but a little frustrating as well because of people off sequence and whatnot. We lost a lot of track position there. Both of us could have been fighting for higher steps on the podium, but we need to do a little better job in qualifying. “