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GP Week : Issue 193
A double points finish for Force India may have been slightly bittersweet for the silverstone team, but the achievement provided food for the soul in the wake of numerous retirements since the mid-season break. After qualifying 12th and 13th respectively, differing strategies for Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil netted both drivers eighth and ninth by race end and a handy six constructors’ points for the team. While that number was paltry compared to the 21 scored by former rivals McLaren, every one was gold in terms of counteracting the renewed threat from Sauber. Fortunately for Force India, the Swiss team left the Buddh International Circuit without a point to their name and now face the task of closing a 23-point gap over the final three races. Di Resta finally had a reason to celebrate after a tough few months. Following changes to Pirelli’s tyre construction, Force India have been desperate to claw back the advantage lost since Silverstone and have done so with perseverance and painstaking baseline comparisons with last year’s car. “It’s great to score points here in India – the team’s home grand prix and a really important race for us,” said di Resta. “ We’ve steadily improved the car over the last few weeks and I’m feeling more comfortable, so I think we can be optimistic of performing at a similar level in Abu Dhabi next week.” Sutil took a very different route to di Resta, being just one of two drivers to successfully one -stop. The German driver was faced with the unenviable task of completing his final 18 laps on the soft compound – according to Mark Webber, after four laps there was a significant drop in performance. In the circumstances, it wasn’t surprising to see him lose positions to Kimi Raikkonen and teammate Paul di Resta during the closing laps. At one stage, Sutil was battling Raikkonen for third place, but the German was still ecstatic with the team’s turnaround in performance. “ T he target was to score points, so eighth and ninth places are a great result for us today,” Sutil enthused. “My one -stop strategy was the riskier approach and it was only during the race that we decided to go ahead with it. After some difficult races recently, we showed everybody what we can achieve with some great teamwork today.” Force India brings it home 31 GPWEEK.com // 31 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> INDIA