The Sahara Force India team returned to points scoring ways in China following a disaster of a race in Malaysia that saw both cars retire with the same problem.
A late pit stop meant that Paul di Resta was able to finish in eighth place, his second points finish of the season. His race was very nearly ended early though as he clashed with team mate Adrian Sutil, with both drivers blaming the other.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Team mate Sutil’s day was ended not long after the incident with di Resta, as he was hit from behind by Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez.
“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,” he explained.
“”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,” deputy team Principal Robert Fernley said.
“Credit should also go to the pit crew who were exceptional today with some very rapid stops, especially the final one.”