It was an up and down day in the Force India camp, as both drivers tried to make the most of the running afforded to them by the team’s decision to keep their Friday test driver, Paul di Resta, out of the cockpit this weekend.
The team took the decision to run its main drivers in all session this weekend to give them as much opportunity to set up their VJM03 cars in readiness for the all-important qualifying and race.
Adrian Sutil once again had the measure of his team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi, with the German breaking into the top-ten on the timesheets and splitting the two McLarens.
"It was a very good day for me," said Sutil. "I’m very happy with my performance and with the car. The setup was really good and we didn’t have to make any major changes over the day, which means there is not so much work for tomorrow and Saturday’s final practice.
"The car is going very consistent and I could set good lap times, so the end classification looks promising but we can also be very satisfied about the pace of the long runs; we haven’t had many problems with the tyre compounds here, just a bit of graining on the [Super] Soft one, but it’s under control and nothing to worry about."
By contrast, Liuzzi emerged less optimistic after his day’s running, ending up 15th-quickest in the afternoon session.
"It was a difficult Friday due to the traffic, as can be expected round here," said Tonio. "It was tough with 24 cars in the field but you just need to have sensible driving from the others, particularly given the time differences between cars; but this isn’t going to change – Monaco is always like this and it’s always a bit of a gamble, but we have to throw our lot in as well."
Just don’t throw it into the wall, Tonio!
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]