The Sahara Force India team suffered a terrible day at the Malaysian Grand Prix as both drivers were forced to retire after running strongly earlier in the race.
A problem with wheel nuts meant both cars suffered long pit stops and a loss of time all day, but after not being able to know whether all the wheels were correctly tightened up on the cars, both Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta were retired as a safety precaution.
“An early end to a race that promised so much for us. Both cars had the same problem with the wheel nuts and it cost us a lot of time in the pits. We’re not sure exactly what happened yet so the team stopped the cars to make sure we understand the issue,” Sutil said.
“It’s a shame that this happened here because we had a very quick car today and I felt very comfortable as the track dried out. We have to stay positive, keep our heads up and remember that there are plenty of races left where we can make up for the disappointment of today.”
Di Resta was clearly disappointed after running in the top ten before he was forced to retire in the pits.
“It’s frustrating to come away with nothing given how competitive we have looked all weekend. We saw an issue at Adrian’s first pit stop when I was sat behind him, which cost me about 15 seconds, and then I had the same issue with the wheel nut at my second pit stop,”
“As a precaution the team chose to retire the car. The good news is that we have the performance in the car, but this is definitely a missed opportunity because we had the potential to score a lot of points today. We will go away, take this on the chin, and come back fighting in China,” he added.
“A very disappointing end to a weekend where we have shown tremendous pace with both our cars. We made it safely through the opening laps in the damp conditions and the track came to us as we switched to dry tyres with Paul being one of the fastest cars on the circuit. Unfortunately things went wrong in the pits when we experienced an issue with our captive wheel nut system at the first stop, which resulted in major delays for both cars,” team boss Vijay Mallya said.
“The issue occurred again at the second stop and it became apparent we would not be able to solve it during the race. As a precaution we were forced to retire both cars and will have a full investigation. It’s frustrating, but sometimes these things happen in racing. We will take the positives of the strong car performance and look to put things right next time out in China.”