Adrian Sutil continued Force India’s run of points finish with an eighth place at Silverstone today, bringing the team’s 2010 total to 47 points in ten races.
Liuzzi, who started from twentieth on the grid after receiving a penalty yesterday, finished in 11th, less than a second off the final points position.
Sutil, who started the race from P11, was up to fifth by the time he made his first stop. After pitting he was dropped back to thirteenth, behind the Sauber of Pedro de la Rosa. He survived a collision with the Sauber on Lap 26, took advantage of a drive-through penalty for Fernando Alonso, and even passed Michael Schumacher to finish the race in eighth, collecting six valuable points.
“It was fun and quite an interesting race.” said Sutil. “We started on the hard tyre as we wanted to try a long stint at the start but it was not really possible as the tyres didn’t behave well at the beginning. I didn’t have enough grip on the car so we came in to do an early stop and go on the soft tyre, so really the opposite strategy to everyone else.
“It worked well although the last ten laps were tough. But we managed it and there were some really good fights with Schumacher and then Vettel. It was good racing and I defended my position well against Vettel until the final lap, but then he just seemed to drive into me and I lost the racing line and had to move over. Otherwise I don’t think he would have got past me.
“All the same eighth position was a good result in the end, it’s more points and it keeps that momentum going. I’m really looking forward to my home Grand Prix in Germany next.
Tonio Liuzzi was up to fifteenth by his first pit stop, and on softer tyres was able to move up to eleventh by the end of the race. In the closing stages he was forced to hold off an angry Fernando Alonso.
“I really enjoyed the second part of the race,” said the Italian. “We need to understand what happened in the first part of the race as with the hard tyres we had unbelievable understeer. I couldn’t cope with the high speed corners and was really struggling to keep positions and a strong pace.
“We have to work it out as on the softer tyres we were performing very well and finished just a few hundredths from the points. Definitely without this issue we could have been in the points so we’ll look at it and understand.
“We also still have an issue with the speed in the race but it was a great race overall and I always pushed 100% as you never know what can happen at the end.”
After their tussles on the track today, Vijay Mallya, the Force India team principal, praised both Sutil and Liuzzi for their efforts. “I’m really proud of both drivers here today – both demonstrated great racing acumen to keep positions,” he said. “It also gave us some great television!
“In both situations – Adrian with Sebastian and Tonio with Fernando – it would have been very easy for them to buckle, but they really did us proud and so nearly produced another double points finish.
“The pace of the car is clearly there and with more updates scheduled for the next race we can be very optimistic for the second half of the season. Our next focus now has to be getting the whole weekend together on both cars, but in terms of finishes and results we are where we should be at this point in the season.”