Force India secured another points finish in Istanbul today as Adrian Sutil came home ninth in the Turkish Grand Prix.
This is Sutil’s fourth points finish from seven races this season and brings his personal tally to 22, and Force India’s to 32 for the season.
The German driver didn’t have everything his own way. After a good start, Sutil was running tenth, but a problem in his pit stop dropped him pack down to thirteenth. He passed Kamui Kobayashi on Lap 50 and also inherited further places from Sebastian Vettel’s retirement and a puncture for Vitaly Petrov.
“It was a good race in the end, I enjoyed it,” said Sutil. “I had a good start and first lap and the only real downside was the pit stop when we lost a few seconds at a crucial time. That’s where I lost two positions and had to fight back past Kobayashi.
“I was quite lucky then to benefit from the tussle between Webber and Vettel and then Alonso and Petrov to make up some places. Ninth position after the weekend we’ve had is the most we could have done.
“OK, we probably lost a position due to the time lost in the stop but at this stage any points are good. We still have some developments coming for the next race and our next task is to use the SRW (Force India’s version of the McLaren’s F-duct) on my car – and once we get these done I think it will be looking really good for the next few races.”
Tonio Liuzzi finished thirteenth – a reasonable result after starting thirteenth. The Italian also benefited from a good start off the grid.
“It was a long race, but we knew we would have a difficult one after the qualifying yesterday,” remarked Liuzzi. “We realised that we are struggling with the car and I still don’t have the grip.
“I tried to push hard at the beginning with the strategy but in the end we knew it would be a big job as when you don’t have the right grip it’s tough.
“We finished 13th on the road, but the pace was not too bad, particularly at the end. We now need to work back at the factory to understand why it’s happening so I can get back in the points again.”
Vijay Mallya, the Force India team principal, congratulated Sutil on securing more points, and hopes Liuzzi can perform better in Montreal, where the aim is to get top ten finishes for both cars.
“After the various issues we’ve had over the weekend, it’s very satisfying to come away from Turkey with some more points to our name,” said Mallya.
“Adrian drove a great race and richly deserved his points today. Tonio has had a harder weekend and we really need to understand why he’s not getting the grip he needs to be able to regain his earlier season form. That will be the focus for next week so when we get to Canada we can have a chance at another double points finish.
“We’ve also got some work to do on our SRW and when we do, I hope we’ll be mixing it again with the top end.”