Force India Drivers Preview Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 17, 2011

Adrian Sutil – Force India VJM03

Adrian Sutil describes the Barcelona circuit: “It’s fast, challenging and well known. The first three corners are quite difficult. It’s a quick complex and it’s important to get turn one right to have the correct line through the next couple of corners. In qualifying trim, turn three could be taken flat.

“The first and second sectors are high-speed and you need to have the right aero balance but the final part of the lap is quite slow and the mechanical set-up is more important. The difficult thing is to find the golden middle.

“I think we should see some overtaking. There is a long straight and tyre degradation will be high. I’m sure the race will be a bit different to what we have seen in previous years.

Asked how he relaxes he said “I like to go to the city centre, but that’s a bit far away from the circuit. So normally I just have dinner with my friends at the hotel or in a nice local restaurant.”

Paul di Resta is keen to race on a track that he knows very well: I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I probably know Barcelona better than any other track on the calendar.

“We did two tests there in the winter and I had four days in the car so I already feel quite well prepared. In fact, it’s a track that all the drivers know like the back of their hand and the teams have so much data already.

“It’s usually a race where all the teams bring upgrades so we will need to take a step forward if we want to stay in the mix. We evaluated a new front wing in Istanbul and we hope to have more steps coming through in the near future.

“The team has been working hard on this new concept and everybody is quite upbeat about its race introduction, so that’s something to look forward to.

“The aim for the weekend is to hopefully get back in the points. We’ve been pretty close to the top ten in all the races so far this season, so hopefully we can stay in the hunt.

Nico Hulkenberg enjoys returning to Europe and lists his five favourite aspects about Barcelona.

1) It’s a nice city: there’s a lot to see and a lot to do away from the circuit in the city centre.

2) Beautiful weather: it’s usually very warm and sunny in Spain at this time of year.

3) Great restaurants: I always enjoy trying the Spanish food such as paella.

4) Crowded grandstands: there are always loads of fans, which creates a good atmosphere.

5) First ‘real’ European race: it’s always a special feeling when the European season kicks off.

Force India Free Practice Turkish Grand Prix 2011

May 6, 2011

 

2011 Turkish Grand Prix Free Practice 1 & 2 Report – 6 May

FP1 objectives:

Paul –  Evaluation of the new front wing and wet weather set-up work
Nico –  Baseline set-up work and evaluation of wet weather tyres

FP2 objectives:

Paul –  Data collection from prime and option tyres; general dry set-up work
Adrian –  Aero evaluation of the new front wing and tyre compound comparison work

Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM04/04)
FP1: Did not participate
FP2: P10  1:28.052 (37 laps)

We had the wing to try on my car this afternoon, which was quite interesting, but now we have to look at the data and try to really understand it. At the moment it’s too early to say that much. I tried both the hard and the soft tyres and did a long run on each, so I feel quite well prepared. I think the hard tyre was the best and most consistent today, but that could easily change as the track evolves. For the general balance of the car, we will work on trying to improve in the final sector and dial out some of the understeer. However, the car felt very well balanced in the high-speed corners.

Paul Di Resta (car 15, VJM04/02)
FP1: P13  1:43.525  (11 laps)
FP2: P8 1:27.725 (37 laps)

The wet weather session this morning made it difficult to learn much about the new front wing, but it was important for me to get a feel for the track and the wet weather tyres. For the afternoon, the priority was to try and understand the hard and soft tyres: we did two runs on the hard and two runs on the soft, which has given us lots of data to analyse this evening as we plan our approach for tomorrow. Overall I think we’ve made a good start and the car feels relatively straightforward. There are always things to improve, but I’m happy with my day.

Nico Hülkenberg (car 14, VJM04/04)
FP1: P10  1:41.347  (16 laps)
FP2: Did not participate

It was very wet out there this morning, and this was pretty much the first wet running for everybody on the Pirellis at a race weekend. I spent the whole session on the same set of wet weather tyres and there was quite a lot to learn. Towards the end of the session the rain got heavier and there was more standing water, which meant the car started aquaplaning. But at least we have done some set-up work in case it stays wet for the rest of the weekend.

Dominic Harlow, Circuit Engineering Director
It has been quite a good Friday for the team with our three drivers contributing to the programme.

In the FP1 session the rain made the circuit quite tricky: conditions were in the most part fairly consistent, but at times some standing water built up at turns two and 11 –  this was the case after the red flag. We ran only the wet tyre and worked to find a balance during what was still quite a new experience for us in terms of running on the Pirelli tyres in this weather.

It dried up for the afternoon and, as well as sitting out the morning session, Adrian had to work through an aero test programme, which he did very well. We’ve now got to focus on the data to understand what we have learnt today. For Paul, after trying the new front wing in the morning, it was more about tyre evaluation this afternoon. Nico, once again provided us with a solid baseline and initial set-up evaluation in the wet.

Force India Preview Turkish Grand Prix 2011

May 5, 2011

Force India’s VJM03

Turkish Grand Prix Preview
6 – 8 May 2011

After three action-packed races, the FIA Formula One World Championship heads to Istanbul Park for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend. Already a firm favourite with the drivers, the circuit includes the high-speed challenge of turn eight and genuine overtaking opportunities into turn 12 at the end of the back straight. While Adrian knows the track well having raced there four times, it’s a new challenge for Paul who gets his first taste of Istanbul Park this weekend.

Team Q&A
Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Team Principal
I think that overall we can be pleased with our start to the season. To have points on the board and a car that is capable of qualifying in the top ten means we are well placed to build on our competitiveness as we begin the European season. I’m very proud of both our drivers, too. Paul has driven superbly and has adapted very quickly to Formula One. Combined with Adrian’s speed and experience, I see no reason why we cannot challenge for points at every race this year. Plus, we have some promising aerodynamic upgrades in the pipeline, which should make a significant difference to the performance of the car in the coming races.

Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM04/04)
It feels like ages since the last race, but it was good to have a short break to think about our start to the season, to analyse all the data and to relax a bit. In many ways the first three races were better than expected: we scored points and were always quite close to the top ten. As a team I think we did a good job and we’ve shown we have pretty solid reliability. The task now is developing the car and the updates we have coming look interesting so I’m excited to see how it goes.

For this weekend, I’m looking forward to racing in Istanbul and I enjoy going there. It’s a nice circuit: up and down, long straights and you can overtake. Turn eight is very special – a fantastic corner to experience in an F1 car because of the high g-forces. I think we will be quite competitive and once again the goal is to score points.

Paul Di Resta (car 15, VJM04/02)
I think the season so far has gone pretty well – very positive in terms of our performance from a team point of view. We know that we have work to do in terms of outright speed, but we’ve definitely maximised our strengths. We understand the car better now and that’s where we have made big gains from winter testing.

It was nice to have a break after China and I’ve been able to recharge my batteries before the European season starts. Racing at Istanbul will be a new experience for me because I didn’t take part in Friday practice last year and I’ve never driven the track. All I have to go on is the simulator work I’ve carried out in preparation for the event. Turn eight will be difficult, but the other corners are equally important for a good laptime. For learning a new track the simulation work helps and the team also provide me with as much information as possible. But I need to get an impression first before I think too much about it.

Nico Hülkenberg, test and reserve driver
I like the layout of the track because you can find a good rhythm and there are some interesting, fast corners, so it’s one of my favourite circuits. Turn eight is the most exciting part: it’s a super-quick triple left corner, which means not only a big challenge, but also a lot of fun. And the back straight with turn 11, as well as the entire third sector, is very tricky and challenging. As a city, I think Istanbul is a beautiful place and I am really looking forward to the weekend.

Fast Fact
Through turn eight, the drivers experience a maximum lateral force of more than 5g, and average lateral force of 4.2g for over three seconds.

What’s new this weekend?
The team will be evaluating a new front wing design during practice as part of the VJM04’s aero development programme with a view to racing it later in the season.

Force India’s 2011 Chinese Grand Prix Preview

April 14, 2011

2011 Chinese Grand Prix Preview
15 – 17 April 2011

The Chinese Grand Prix will be the third round of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship and the final event in the trio of flyaway races that opened the season. Held at the state of the art Shanghai International Circuit on the outskirts of China’s largest city, the Force India Formula One Team will be heading to this event with high hopes of keeping its recent run of form. Paul Di Resta picked up his second points-finish of the year in Malaysia with a fighting 10th place, with Adrian only just outside the top ten, taking the team’s season total to four points to date.

Team Q&A
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal
After a difficult winter testing here we are, two races in to the season, with two point’s finishes. It’s very pleasing to see how we have progressed over the last few weeks, by keeping our heads down and focussing on our game. The teams at Brackley and Silverstone have done a great job with the VJM004 so far, and with upgrades due for the coming races, I am optimistic that we shall be able to continue improving our form and making steps forward to increase our pace. We head to China with our heads held high and in good spirits for another successful race.

Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM04/04)
It is quite an interesting, modern circuit with an extensive Paddock. The track has unique corners, with very long right handers where you really have to get everything right to gain an advantage. There are different lines you can take, so there are many ways to approach a lap, and the long straight where you can normally pass quite well. The weather can a little bit tricky with cold and sometimes wet conditions, but in general it is a grand prix I like. The metropolitan city is also exciting, with an amazing skyline, shopping and restaurants, it’s usually a good weekend and I am happy to go there.

Paul Di Resta (car 15, VJM04/02)
I am looking forward to the race in China. It is quite a technical track and one that I am keen to experience more as I had a small taste of it last year. It will be interesting to see how the DRS activation works with the rear wing in Shanghai because if its going to work anywhere that’s where it will be because it has a very long straight. The corners are very long, with big radiuses. I visited Shanghai city twice last year, and it is huge with an amazing culture and great things to see, so it should be a good weekend.

Nico Hülkenberg, test and reserve driver
The Shanghai circuit is a huge progressive facility and there are some nice corners on the track. For me there shall be some evaluation work of the prime tyres in FP1, driving Adrian’s car for the first time; which is not a problem as I know all the team and engineers very well. Over a race weekend I also try to assist the engineers, to a certain extent, during our meetings. I listen to feedback from the other drivers for their experience of the track for my future reference and I speak to the engineers afterwards to see what kind of direction they are taking. The meetings also keep me up to date with the current facts of Formula 1, so I am prepared to be in the car at any time should I need to be.

Force India’s Free Practice Malaysian Grand Prix 2011

April 8, 2011

Malaysian Grand Prix Free Practice 1 & 2 Report – 8 April 2011

FP1 objectives:

Nico – a series of aero tests on some development parts, and running the development Pirelli hard compound available today.

Adrian – concentrated on setting a baseline for the weekend, but was slightly compromised by a KERS issue which the team resolved for FP2.

FP2 objectives:

Paul – long runs on both prime/ option tyres and some balance adjustments.
Adrian – similar programme with further running on the development hard compound tyre.

Weather

FP1: overcast with very high humidity (67.1 – 84.8%), temps air: 27.0 – 29.0°C track: 28.0 – 34.0°C
FP2: dry and sunny with high humidity (47.3 – 53.4%), temps air: 31.0 – 33.0°C track: 40.0 – 49.0°C

Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM04/04)
FP1: 11th 1:40.734  (21 laps)
FP2: 17th  1:39.809  (28 laps)

We had a disappointing day. I went out on the first lap of the morning session and straight away we had some KERS issues, which affected the car’s balance and power for the rest of the running. In the afternoon the guys fixed this problem, but we then had a downshift issue, which we don’t seem to know exactly what it is, and the car was difficult to drive. So we need to understand this problem as it upsets the car, and with reliability and pace not there at the moment, I am a little concerned. But we shall discuss these tonight and work on them for tomorrow.

Paul Di Resta (car 15, VJM04/02)
FP1: Did not participate
FP2: 16th  1:39.625  (31 laps)
We got through the programme we wanted. It was quite difficult to find the ultimate set-up, but I think we found relatively where we need to be on old and new tyres, and certainly how to get the wear out of them because they don’t seem to be lasting quite as well as in Melbourne. Given that this was my first session here I think that it was productive, so hopefully we can sit down tonight, analyse it and go forward tomorrow.

Nico Hülkenberg (car 15, VJM04/02)
FP1: 4th 1:40.377  (20 laps)
FP2: Did not participate
It was a positive Friday session for me. We ran the super hard tyre for first time; it was interesting running and we collected some good data. We successfully carried out some aero work and I got in some good laps, which I was very happy about. Obviously P4 is a good result; it’s where we want to be but it’s not realistically where we are at the minute. Overall though it was a good session for the team and I am generally happy.

Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director
We completed our work today despite the high temperatures, particularly in the afternoon, and we are satisfied with cooling levels, which of course tend to be tested here. We have some issues to address with Adrian’s car as he had problems on the downshift that affected the stability but will work on those overnight. On the hot track the drivers found quite high tyre degradation and certainly a bit of oversteer as the rear tyres degraded. It’s a different scenario to the weekend in Australia, and we’ll be looking through the data to define our best set-up for the race considering both the tyre behaviour and the possible weather conditions.

Force India’s Practice Australian Grand Prix 2011

March 25, 2011

 

 

 

Australian Grand Prix Free Practice Report – 25 March 2011

FP1 objectives Pirelli tyre evaluation, assessment of new rear wing, cooling of engine, KERS and brakes
FP2 objectives Long run comparisons at race fuel, test of the DRS race mode and SC systems
Weather Overcast with occasional light rain
Temperatures Air: 16-17°C       Track: 20-23°C

Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM04/04)
FP1:    13th  1:29.314  (19 laps)
FP2:    17th  1:28.583  (31 laps)

It was not a bad day. We had quite a few new components on the car to test and the rear wing made a good difference. In the second session we put it all together with a few more sets of tyres, but we had a small issue with the floor and lost a little bit of running. It takes a good three to four laps to get the tyres working for us, on a hard tyre maybe longer, and at the beginning we suffered from understeer and front locking. It is important to look at the other drivers’ lap times now to see what they achieved with the different tyre compounds. I am getting to grips with operating the KERS and the rear wing and am confident in the system. I am aiming to qualify mid-table tomorrow – I think that is possible, so let’s see what we can do.

Paul Di Resta (car 15, VJM04/02)
FP1:  Did not participate
FP2:  16th 1:28.376  (33 laps)

It was a good to have the opportunity to start my season today. We were able to complete our planned programme and the tyres performed better than I expected. Overall I felt quite comfortable with the new systems on the car, but until I get into a competitive situation it is still too early to say how we’ll do. We have another practice session in the morning, and so we’ll look at the data from today and work on the small issues we had and our programme for Qualifying. I am excited about tomorrow, but at the same time there is a job to be done and my focus is to achieve the best result I can for the team.

Nico Hülkenberg (car 15, VJM04/02)
FP1: 18th 1:31.002  (20 laps)
FP2: Did not participate

It was an interesting FP1 and I learnt a lot again about the tyres and the car. Driving with just one set of tyres was pretty difficult because I picked up a flat spot early on which distracted my further running. The rubber wore quite quickly and caused a lot of vibrations, which made it tough to run. But I got some good laps in and collected some good data for the engineers to look at. I am happy to have driven here in Melbourne again and to pick up some more experience and information for the team.

Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director
We had two objectives for the first practice session; for Nico to gather as much data on the prime tyre as possible and for Adrian to evaluate a new rear wing. Paul drove this circuit last year, so it’s not completely new for him. Over the course of the season Adrian and Paul will both share their car with Nico on a Friday, so we’re simply keeping things balanced. FP2 ran to programme, with long run comparisons at race fuel and a test of the DRS race mode and SC systems. It’s been a productive day and we are looking ahead to what will be a fascinating race weekend.

Force India’s First Test Day at Barcelona

March 8, 2011

VJM03

Hülkenberg and di Resta open final pre-season test for Force India
Barcelona test report – day one of four

8 March 2011 – The Force India F1 Team’s final pre-season test got underway today at the Circuit de Cataluña, Spain. Nico Hülkenberg got his first run in the VJM04, completing 31 laps as he conducted aero testing, KERS and tyre evaluation.

Paul di Resta took over in the afternoon to continue the team’s programme, putting in 38 laps with a best of 1:26.039, the sixth quickest of the day.

Paul will remain in the car all day tomorrow.

Nico Hülkenberg
It was good to be back in a Formula 1 car as the last time I drove was about a month ago in Valencia. It was also my first outing in the VJM04 so there were quite a lot of new systems to get used to, such as the KERS and moveable rear wing. There’s definitely a lot more work for the driver to do on the steering wheel and quite a lot of information to take in and get to grips with. We ultimately finished a little early with a reliability item just before the lunchtime break, but although we are still learning about the new systems, I can see we’re heading in the right direction for the first part of the year.

Paul di Resta
All things considered, a good afternoon of running. We missed a bit of running after lunch as the guys fixed the problem from earlier in the day but when we did go out we got through a lot of productive work. It was my first time running the KERS system as we didn’t run it last time in Barcelona, and all went well with that. Using the DRS [drag reduction system] and deploying KERS together takes some time to get used to but with time it will become a lot more natural. We also used the hard and soft tyre compounds from Pirelli and are understanding their behaviour a lot more. I’m looking forward to building on this programme tomorrow when I’ll be in the car all day.

Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director
A busy programme today as we shook down a new chassis, plus it was Nico’s first opportunity to familiarise himself with the VJM04 before his free practice outing in Australia. There are several new systems from the VJM03, including KERS and the DRS, but he equipped himself well and gave a lot of valuable feedback that we will push back into our programme for the remainder of this test. Paul took over for the afternoon, conducting his first-ever test with the live KERS system. Apart from one reliability problem before lunch we had no major issues and we’ll continue with race simulations with Paul tomorrow.

Testing data
Driver:   Nico Hülkenberg (am) / Paul di Resta (pm)
Track:   Circuit de Cataluña, Spain
Best lap time:  1:26.030 (Nico) / 1:26.039 (Paul)
Laps completed: Nico 31 / Paul 38
Kilometres completed: 144km (Nico) / 177km (Paul)
Air temperature:  High of 13 C
Track temperature: High of 25 C
Weather:  Grey and overcast, occasional rain showers

Force India’s New Drivers Adapt Well

February 1, 2011

Winter testing starts for Force India
Valencia test report – day one of three

1 February 2011 – The Force India F1 Team’s pre-season testing programme got underway today at the Valencia permanent circuit, with Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta undertaking their first official driving duties for the team since their confirmation in the driver line-up last Wednesday. The team used the VJM03 – last year’s challenger – to gather further tyre data while valuable development work is continued on the VJM04 in the wind tunnel back at Silverstone.

Nico was first out in the car, completing 71 laps in total with a best time of 1:13.938, the second quickest time of the day, as he got up to speed with the car and the different protocols and procedures employed by the team.

Paul di Resta took over late afternoon to complete his baseline runs in advance of his first full day of testing tomorrow. The Scot posted the fourth best time of the day after 28 laps.

Paul will continue the test tomorrow with Adrian Sutil taking over for the final day.

Nico Hülkenberg
Generally a very productive and promising first day with the team. The main goal was principally for me to get used to the team, the car and the new Pirelli tyres and my impressions of all were pretty positive. It was great to be back in an F1 car and I got back up to speed quicker than I thought. Programme-wise I worked through the different set-ups on the car and was able to complete a lot of laps, which gave me a good first understanding of how the Pirelli tyres worked as I was not able to do any running at the tyre test last year. I really enjoyed the day and am looking forward to working with the team over the coming weeks as we prepare for the start of the season.

Paul di Resta
A short outing for me today, but good to get back in the car and out on track again after a couple of months off. And great to be back in the team environment knowing that this is all building up to the start of my first season in F1. We completed just under 30 laps to get ready for the full day tomorrow. I think we’re in good shape to get through the full programme and get the information we need to feed into the development of the new car.
Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director
Our strategy for this test was to use the VJM3 to gain our drivers some early season mileage and collect as much data on the Pirelli tyres as possible. Overall we achieved our objectives today, looking at the three compounds available here and with both Nico and Paul driving the car. Fortunately the weather for the coming two days is forecast to remain fairly good and we look forward to continuing with our work over the remaining two days.

Testing data
Driver:   Nico Hülkenberg (am) / Paul di Resta (pm)
Track:   Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, Spain
Best lap time:  1:13.938 (Nico) / 1:14.461 (Paul)
Laps completed: 71 (Nico) / 28 (Paul)
Kilometres completed: 391.05km
Air temperature:  High of 15 C
Track temperature: High of 25 C
Weather:  Bright and sunny

Force India Confirms Drivers for 2011

January 26, 2011

Force India has issued the following press release.

“The Force India F1 Team is delighted to confirm it has finalised its driver line-up for the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship season. Following weeks of speculation, Adrian Sutil will continue with the Silverstone-based team for a fifth consecutive season and will be joined by Paul di Resta, who will make his Formula One race debut. Nico Hülkenberg will join Force India as the test and reserve driver as part of a long-term partnership with the team.

“Twenty-seven year old Adrian, from south Germany, enjoyed his most successful season in F1 last year, securing 47 points to help the team to seventh position in the constructors’ championship. En route to his highest-ever drivers’ championship classification he notched up nine points scoring positions, including fifth in the Malaysian Grand Prix. He is now hungry to achieve both his, and the team’s, ultimate goal of becoming a regular podium challenger.

“2011 marks Paul’s F1 race debut following a strong year of Friday performances as Force India’s test and reserve driver last season and his recent DTM title success. The 24-year-old Scot joined the team after an impressive test in late 2009 and participated in eight free practice sessions in 2010 to get up to speed with the challenges of F1 circuits. This invaluable experience will now be put to full use when he makes his race debut.

“German Nico Hülkenberg, 23, completes the Force India F1 Team’s driver line-up for the 2011 season. Nico’s strong performances in the junior formulae and his impressive rookie form in last year’s F1 championship, including a sensational pole position in Brazil, marked him out as a star of the future and the team was delighted to secure his services as test and reserve driver.

“Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal of Force India F1 Team, ‘I am genuinely excited by the drivers we will be fielding in 2011. I believe that the combination of talent we’ve assembled gives us one of the strongest line-ups on the grid: Adrian has matured into one of F1’s most consistent and highly-rated young drivers, while Paul is, I believe, a real star of the future. He has won in every category in his career and this base speed was in evidence when he got in the car on Fridays last year. With Nico, signing him was too good an opportunity to let by. He showed a good racing head and talent and I was amazed by his control in Brazil last year. Together I think they are a formidable partnership and will help take us to the next level of performance.’

“Adrian Sutil commented, ‘I made my F1 debut with the team back in 2007 and we’ve worked together since then, so to stay for another year here feels very right. I’ve always said that I feel good in this team, it feels like family and when you feel good, you are confident and can push to your maximum. We’ve made some good progress together over the past four years and I’m excited to be part of the the team when it takes the next step, which is hopefully to become a front running team. We have the same ambitions so it makes a lot of sense to achieve them together.’

“Paul di Resta added, ‘Naturally I am thrilled to be making my race debut this season. Becoming an F1 driver has been a long-held ambition of mine, something I’ve wanted to do since I first stepped into a kart, and to finally realise it feels amazing. I’ve worked really hard for this opportunity throughout my career and to get it with Force India, a young team that’s got ambitions as big as mine, is genuinely exciting. I can’t wait to be on the grid in Bahrain, it can’t come soon enough.’

“Nico Hülkenberg said, ‘I am happy I can stay in F1 in 2011. I am looking forward to working with Force India and I am sure the team will continue improving in the future. I appreciate the team trusting me by signing a long-term contract. I will do my very best to live up to expectations.'”

Hulkenberg Still Looking for a Drive Next Year

December 19, 2010

Nico Hulkenberg, who was sacked by Williams after just one season with them, is desperately trying to find a seat for next year.  His replacement is the current GP2 Champion, the Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado  who is believed to have brought some much-needed cash to the Williams team. Hulkenberg stated “Force India is our best shot, but it is also no secret that quite a few drivers are trying to land a seat there. We are talking to them and let’s wait and see what develops.”

“We are working very hard, to get a deal done but it is no secret that there are not many good race seats left. The hope is still there and I am not giving up. I hope I can give you a positive answer very soon. Hopefully before Christmas.”

” This Brazilian pole position was something that Williams had not tasted in years, but then again, one lap does not change the course of history. There had been signs before that there was something brewing, because the team repeatedly delayed contract talks, putting it off to ‘mañana’, so I was forewarned that something was going on. Nevertheless I would have liked to stay with them.”

“From the outside it is obviously hard to understand, but there must have been circumstances within the team that required such a step.”

“At this point I would like to thank the Williams team for three great years. Although it is very, very sad that the cooperation will not continue, I am glad to have been part of the team. I’m still sure that I stay in F1 in 2011. Sure you read all of this in the media. I still do not have a new contract with another team, but that will hopefully change very soon. I realised quickly through my team mate Rubens Barrichello how important it is to have experience in this sport. Rubens was the strongest team mate I ever had and I am very pleased with the year at his side. He helped me with my development. We are both very ambitious pilots and of course everyone wanted to beat the other every time. However, we have, I think, worked well together and taken the team forward. We exchanged our racing helmets in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. We both wrote something personal for each other on it. I hope Rubens will stay in Formula 1 for a long time and I wish him all the best.”

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