Fisichella rues bad strategy in Sepang

Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella reckons different strategies for his and teammate Adrian Sutil's cars would have suited them for their F1 points.

updated: April 07, 2009 09:58 IST
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New Delhi:

Unhappy with a lowly 18th place finish in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, Force India's Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella reckons different strategies for for his and teammate Adrian Sutil's cars would have suited the Formula One outfit gunning for its maiden F1 points.

In the rain-ruined race at Sepang, Force India's gamble with extreme wet tyres boomeranged as the rain didn't come fast enough.

"I think the main problem was the wrong call to change tyres. We changed tyres too early, at least three of four laps too early, and then when I was running with the extreme wet tyres it was dry so we destroyed the tyres," Fisichella rued.

"Once we had a lot of standing water on the circuit, the tyres were completely slick and I couldn't keep the car on the ground so that was a problem," said Fisichella who eventually aquaplaned off the circuit in the race in which drivers were classified after 31 laps.

On whether things could have been different with early rains, the Italian said, "It's difficult to say. The pace was not too bad considering the fuel load at the beginning of the race and I was keeping a good pace, close to (Nelson) Piquet, (Sebastian) Bourdais and (Kazuki) Nakajima, so it was looking good but then we made a mistake with the strategy.

"I think anything could have happened with these weather conditions. It was maybe good to keep one car in one direction and one in the different direction, but it's experience so let's see for the next race," Fisichella added.

Sutil too agreed the tyre gamble simply didn't pay off.

"We came in four or five laps too early but then it rained so heavily. We gambled but we had nothing to lose -that was what we had to do," he said.

"There was lightening coming down and you could have expected a really big rain shower, but then when the rain came in, for sure our tyres were not in the best shape. They were pretty grained so it was a gamble but it didn't really help this time," said the German.

Torrential rain, lightening storms, a curtailed race and the first half-points finish since the 1991 Australian Grand Prix marked the Malaysian GP and Sutil said it the worst conditions he have ever driven in.

"Yes you can say that The view was not a problem as there was no car in front of me but I was swimming - it was like a boat on the river, it was impossible to turn in. It was just completely aquaplaning.

"It was never frightening, you have to go a bit slower, but it was really bad, really difficult - impossible to drive actually," he said.