Sahara Force India delivered a strong performance in Melbourne as Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta finished in seventh and eighth places respectively, earning the team ten World Championship points. Adrian Sutil at one point led the race.
Adrian Sutil, 7th, (Tyre strategy: Medium, Medium, Super-soft):
“What a fantastic race and a great feeling. I started on the medium tyres, a different strategy to most of the cars ahead of me, and I think this was the right decision. The pace was quick and the car felt very good on the medium tyres so I was able to keep up with the guys in front of me, who I knew were going to pit early. It was not long until I was leading the race – my first time leading in Formula One. After my second pit stop I was back in the lead once again, so I knew that it was possible to come away with a great result. My final stint on the super-softs was much more difficult because the tyres started graining and I lost a few places. I was thinking I might need to pit again, but fortunately the tyres came back to me for the final few laps so I could save the seventh place. This result for the team is a perfect way to start the season and I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the team once again.”
Paul Di Resta, 8th (Tyre strategy: Super-soft, Medium, Medium):
“Seventh and eighth for the team is a great result and a great way to kick off the season. We’ve shown we have a car that is kind on its tyres and that helped us today by making less stops than some of our rivals. I feel I had a car that could have finished seventh, but I was stuck behind some of the three-stoppers at the start of my second stint, and that cost me quite a lot of track position. There are a lot of positives to take from the race, as well as some things that we can improve to make the car stronger, but we’re in a good position heading to Malaysia.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:
“What a great team performance to start our season. Ten points is a great effort and confirms the pace we have demonstrated all weekend. Adrian’s return to racing has been fantastic and it’s clear he has lost none of his speed or racecraft. He was on a different strategy to most of the front-runners, but made it work beautifully and showed strong pace throughout the Grand Prix – even leading for 11 laps. Paul was on the opposite strategy and finished just a fraction behind Adrian in the end. He probably could have passed Adrian in the closing laps, but he held station to ensure we brought home the strong team result. We said over the winter that we needed a strong start to the year, so hopefully we can build on this next week in Malaysia.”