Sahara Force India secured four championship points today as Paul Di Resta raced to eighth place at the Shanghai International Circuit. Adrian Sutil’s race ended early when he was hit from behind by Esteban Gutierrez.
Paul Di Resta, VJM06-04, 8th: “A good result in the end and a strong recovery after a difficult start to the race. I was battling with Nico [Hulkenberg] on the opening lap, but unfortunately there was some contact with Adrian [Sutil] down at the hairpin, which put me on the grass and set us back three or four places. After that I was stuck in the pack, my tyres were graining, and I couldn’t really make much progress. It wasn’t until the third stint that I was in some clean air and the pace of the car was very strong. I was pushing all the way and I knew it would be very close after the final stop with Grosjean and Hulkenberg. But the pit crew did a top job; they kept their nerve and we managed to stay ahead of both of them. If everything had gone to plan I’m sure we could have done an even better job, but it’s good to pick up more points and to see our race pace right up there once again.”
Adrian Sutil, VJM06-03, DNF: “A very disappointing day for me. Things were going well in the opening laps and then under braking for the final hairpin I got hit from behind as I turned into the corner. I guess Gutierrez missed his braking point and had nowhere to go but into the back of my car. My rear wing was broken and there was no option but to stop. It’s always a shame not to finish a race and I had a good chance of scoring more points today. I was on the soft tyre and the strategy looked to be shaping up well.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “It’s the first time we’ve scored points in China so it’s good to get that monkey off our back and see Paul demonstrate the inherent pace of our car. He was boxed in the pack early on, but the strategy came back to us at the end of the race as Paul put in a fantastic third stint on the medium tyres. We left it until the last couple of laps to fit the soft tyres, but Paul had done enough in the clean air to keep Grosjean and Hulkenberg behind him. Credit should also go to the pit crew who were exceptional today with some very rapid stops, especially the final one. On the other side of the garage Adrian was the innocent victim of Gutierrez’s mistake. There was nothing Adrian could have done to avoid it but it certainly cost us a good chance of getting two cars in the points.”