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Fisichella 8th fastest in testing

March 12, 2009 18:12 IST

Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella posted the eighth fastest time while completing 97 laps as the VJM02 car displayed immaculate reliability for the third day on the trot at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Fisichella's best lap of 1min 21.545 was better than Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi (1:21.569) and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton (1:21.657) whose first experience with the new aero package of the MP4-24 concluded with a crash after 86 laps.

Replacing team-mate Adrian Sutil behind the VJM02, Fisichella continued the team's programme of evaluating different set-up options, aerodynamic improvements and tyre testing.

Satisfied with the outing, the seasoned driver said he is now looking forward to the race simulation on the fourth and final day.

"We had some good reliability again today and could go through the programme as planned. We did a lot of set up work, which we needed to do after the limited running in Jerez. I feel that the mechanical grip is good so we need to concentrate on the aero package now.

"I'm looking forward to the race simulation tomorrow where we can look at the performance over a longer run," said the Roman.

Technical director James Key said it was a highly productive day for the outfit.

"We completed some more work on tyres, comparing new and older sets, and began to unlock the difference between the compounds.

"We also tried some new aero parts, such as a tweak on the bodywork, a new rear wing and some parts around the front wing and the wheel spinners, which seemed to work as intended. Again the reliability was extremely good and we look forward to another productive day tomorrow," he said.

Jenson Button (1:19.127), driving for Brawn GP team, posted the best time of the day to better Ferrari's Felipe Massa (1:20.168), who carried out a race simulation, by over a second.

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