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GP Week : Issue 179
Despite a strong car and excellent performances from both drivers – especially Paul di Resta, who suffered and then recovered before being made to retire – Force India had an abominable race in Malaysia. The Silverstone racers have impressed with their 2013 challenger thus far, a car that embarrassed technology partners McLaren in Australia, and out-qualified Sergio Perez in Sepang, but pit stop problems forced both di Resta and teammate Adrian Sutil out of the grand prix. Di Resta lost fifteen seconds stuck behind Sutil when the two drivers pitted near-simultaneously for dry tyres early on in the race, but was able to make up the time on track with an impressive effort that came to naught when the Scotsman suffered a faulty wheel nut problem of his own on his second pit stop. Both cars were then retired as a precaution, as the wheel nut issues meant that driver – and spectator, marshal, and competitor – safety could not be ensured. “Unfortunately things went wrong in the pits when we experienced an issue with our captive wheel nut system at the first stop, which resulted in major delays for both cars,” team principal Vijay Mallya explained. “The issue occurred again at the second stop and it became apparent we would not be able to solve it during the race. As a precaution we were forced to retire both cars and will have a full investigation. It’s frustrating, but sometimes these things happen in racing. We will take the positives of the strong car performance and look to put things right next time out in China.” Force India in the pits 23 GPWEEK.com // 23 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> MALAYSIA