Two points for di Resta as Hulkenberg is forced to retire

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuitae

Force India's Paul Di Resta scored two points with ninth place in today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but there was disappointment on the other side of the garage as teammate Nico Hulkenberg retired from the race following a first corner crash.

Paul di Resta: “Quite a hectic race for me but I’m happy to come away with some points considering the way the race unfolded. I’m not sure what happened going into turn one because I had a great launch and moved ahead of Nico, but on the exit of the corner I realised immediately that I had a puncture. That cost me a lot of ground, but the first safety car brought me back into play. We were going to try and run to the finish without stopping again and I was up to fifth place, but when the safety car came out for a second time the team called me in for fresh tyres. In the final stages our pace was strong and I moved ahead of the Toro Rossos, but I just could not get ahead of Senna. He was in the DRS zone of Massa and I just could not make the move so I had to settle for ninth.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “I made quite a bad start and had a poor run going into the first corner. Then I just got sandwiched by the cars around me go. I think there was my teammate, a Sauber and a Williams around me, and there was not enough space. I tried to back out of it, but it was too late. There was contact between the cars and that was my race over.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “A dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that served up plenty of incidents. Nico was out of luck at the start and it looked like a typical opening lap incident with too many cars and not enough space. Paul was also caught up in that and picked up a right rear puncture, dropping him to the back of the field. From there it was a case of damage limitation and Paul delivered the perfect recovery drive to pick up a couple of points. He battled hard and was unlucky not to finish higher up the order. In terms of our fight in the constructors’ championship, our two main rivals, Sauber and Williams, both scored well today. Sauber are 29 ahead and we have 22 points advantage over Williams. It’s clear the battle will go down to the wire but we will continue fighting until the last lap in Brazil.”