Adrian Sutil caught out by second safety car period at Silverstone
Adrian Sutil has explained how he was caught out by the second safety car period during the British Grand Prix, when the German remained out on the circuit whilst many drivers elected to pit for fresh rubber. This therefore left him at a disadvantage on the restart, as the likes of Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso breezed past the German.
After enjoying a tremendously competitive start, Adrian Sutil found himself in a strong 4th position after the opening few laps of the race. When Lewis Hamilton suffered his catastrophic tyre failure, the German returnee found himself in 3rd position behind fellow countrymen Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg. The Force India driver’s position ebbed and flowed as the pit-stops panned out, however when Sebastian Vettel caused the second and final safety car period the German did not pit unlike the majority of the field.
Although this enabled Adrian Sutil to rise back to 3rd position behind race leader Nico Rosberg and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, the 30-year-old was instantly pounced upon at the restart by the likes of Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Despite this late decline, Adrian Sutil remained positive after bringing home a handful of points for the Silverstone-based outfit.
“The start of the race was looking very good because we were always planning a two-stop strategy and I was up into fourth on lap one.” Enthused Adrian Sutil, “It was a challenge to look after the tyres and keep them going, but the main problem for me was the second safety car because the cars around me chose to pit. I stayed out and was third at the restart, but the cars behind with fresh rubber had a big advantage and were able to overtake me quite easily in the final few laps. It’s disappointing to slip back so close to the finish, but seventh place gives us some good points so we can be happy with the result.”
After qualifying an impressive 5th for the race, Paul di Resta was struck with a frustrating blow after qualifying when his car was found to be underweight during post-qualifying scrutineering. This saw the Scotsman disqualified from proceeding, and therefore start the race from the back of the grid. Despite this sizable setback and a minor collision with the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta eventually finished 9th after an impressive drive through the field.
“That wasn’t the cleanest of races for me, but given everything that’s happened this weekend I think we can feel satisfied with two points today.” Explained Paul di Resta, “It was a bit of a scruffy race because I lost my front wing trying to get ahead of Nico [Hulkenberg], so we chose to change it when the safety car came out, which probably cost me a couple of positions. Towards the end of the race I had fresh tyres, and was closing in on Ricciardo, but I ran out of laps and he was just out of reach. So a weekend of highs and lows, but it’s definitely good to continue our points run and have another double points finish for the team.”
This result is Force India’s third successive double points finish of the season, with the duo so far enjoying a competitive season with their Mercedes-powered VJM06. The Silverstone-based outfit currently sit 22 points ahead of McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship, as they continue to hunt for their first podium finish since 2009.
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