Force India endured a frustrating opening day of practice ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Paul di Resta suffering a brake failure on his front-left tyre during the second practice session. As a precaution, the Silverstone-based outfit elected to change the brake material on both Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil’s cars.
After returning to the points for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix last time out in India, Force India are targeting a competitive conclusion to the season as they strive to remain ahead of Sauber in the Constructors’ Championship. Although Paul di Resta has explained how the Mercedes-powered VJM06 has good balance, their preparations for the weekend ahead were dealt a major blow during the second practice session when the Scotsman was struck with a brake failure.
At first it was believed that the 27-year-old had suffered from yet another Pirelli puncture, as the subsequent brake failure inflicted damage to the tyre in question. However, after Paul di Resta gingerly limped back to the pits it was discovered that a brake failure had struck his car. As a precaution the team elected to change their brake material on both cars, which momentarily halted Adrian Sutil’s progress after the German ceded driving duties to reserve driver James Calado. Despite the minor altercations throughout the second practice session, Force India’s Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley is optimistic ahead of the remainder of the weekend.
“It’s been a positive day overall.” Explained Bob Fernley, “The only real issue was the brake failure on Paul’s car, which fortunately did not cost us too much track time. He was able to return to the pits and we fitted new brake material to both cars as a precautionary measure. I feel optimistic that we can build on the performance level we showed in India last weekend. The long run pace looks competitive, especially on the soft tyre, and both drivers felt happy with the general balance.”
With only one practice session remaining before the all-important qualifying hour, both Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil will unquestionably be striving to make up for lost time due to their brake issues earlier today. Last weekend in India both drivers managed to finish competitively within the points with Adrian Sutil in particular mastering a one-stop strategy, a result the entire team will surely be eager to emulate this weekend under the Abu Dhabi floodlights.
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