Force India put F-Duct to the test

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Force India drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil pounded out the laps today in free practice in an attempt to gather as much data as they could for the new upgrades present at the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend.

Despite the low grip conditions on track, Liuzzi and Sutil covered more than 200km in the morning session to gather as much data as possible on the new upgrade. The practice ran reasonably smoothly until the closing minutes of the session when Sutil ran slightly offline onto the dirty, slippery part of the track through turn eight – a high-speed multi apex turn – and into the barriers. His VJM03 was repaired in time to complete 16 laps during the second session, recording the 11th quickest time. Liuzzi posted 28 laps with a best time of 1:30.627, the 16th best of the afternoon.

Adrian Sutil (car 14)

We got as much data as we could on the new developments we have this weekend. The morning was pretty useful to get the first information about our switchable rear wing, and we also got a lot of running in on the hard tyre. Unfortunately I had an accident towards the end of this session – I got some understeer through turn eight and went wide on the marbles and that was it really, I was into the barriers. I was OK but the front right suspension was pretty damaged. The team did a fantastic job to get me out in the second session and we made a few runs to at least get some data on the option tyres. At this stage it’s good to get the information, we’ll look at it tonight and see how we can make some improvements for tomorrow.

Tonio Liuzzi (car 15)

It was quite a productive day today. In the afternoon the balance of the car was not ideal, but in the morning it was good and we could get some useful data on the new SRW. I think it’s working pretty well, it’s a clever solution to it and not too difficult to use considering what you have to do. We made some progress to understand it over the two sessions so now we just need to work on the balance as we are still not in the right ball park just yet. Overall a positive day and I can definitely feel an improvement over the last weekend with the car.

Specifically the team were focused on their new Switchable Rear Wing device or F-Duct. As the system will be banned for 2011, it’s crucial that the teams deploying the system get the maximum from the development for the remainder of 2010.

It seems each team has a unique take on McLaren’s invention and Force India’s chief race engineer, Dominic Harlow, says they achieved a lot today in spite of Sutil’s accident:

Interesting sessions today as we worked on understanding the switchable rear wing on its track debut. We have collected a great deal of data and now have to determine the best approach for the remainder of the weekend. The circuit is a little green and grip quite low overall and unfortunately we lost some track time after Adrian went off track at T8 this morning. The team worked hard and did a good job to get the car back out for FP2. Otherwise the developments we have brought to this event seem positive and we expect a close qualifying session tomorrow.

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