It was a return to the hallowed zone of points scoring for Silverstone-based, but Indian-owned Sahara Force India, who had a solid return to the top ten in the 2013 Indian Grand Prix. They now extend their lead over nearest rivals Sauber F1 by twenty-three points heading into the final three races.
Paul Di Resta, who opted for a two-stop strategy, went for the option tyres for the first stint, pitting incredibly early to maximise his chances of results on the more durable medium tyre. ”It’s great to score points here in India - the team’s home Grand Prix and a really important race for us. After that we effectively split the race in two and I pitted again for my second set of medium tyres on lap 30.”
The Scot also said that he felt more comfortable in the car, throughout the improvements that Vijay Mallya’s team have made, especially after a spate of results that the team were not hoping for recently: “I think we can be optimistic of performing at a similar level in Abu Dhabi next week.”
Adrian Sutil put in a one-stop strategy, that saw him be the only driver to reach 19 laps on the soft tyres, which exceeded the prediction by tyre supplier Pirelli, especially with the Italian manufacturer stating that they would not be able to last more than 15 laps. The German said that the finishes both he and Di Resta had today were a target that the team already had in mind.
“My one-stop strategy was the riskier approach and it was only during the race that we decided to go ahead with it. The medium tyres, which I started on, were performing really well and I realised that doing a one-stop race was possible,” said Sutil, as a lot of the drivers had used the soft compound tyres found they were at their optimum for around 5 to 7 laps during the race.
However, perseverance gives its just rewards to those that carry on at the task at hand, as Adrian was quick to compliment the team’s hard work and dedication to push hard as always:”After some difficult races recently, we showed everybody what we can achieve with some great teamwork today.”
Mallya himself was really happy for the home result for Force India, which helps to strengthen their position in the Constructors’ Championship. He did nothing but lavish praise on to the hard working squad that have helped through the bad times and the good over the years and looks forward to the next race: “The second half of the season has been challenging for us, but we showed today that we never give up and that all the recent hard work has paid off. I want to congratulate the engineers for making the right calls with the strategy, the drivers for their strong performances, and the mechanics for consistently quick pit stops. With just three races remaining this season, there is plenty to play for and we will go to Abu Dhabi determined to keep up this momentum.”
Images courtesy of Sahara Force India (c)