Force India said that their result today was all they could ‘reasonably expect’ – although they managed to move forward from their grid positions in today’s Spanish Grand Prix the team still leave Barcelona without adding to their points tally.
Paul di Resta finished the race twelfth, but still managed to draw some positives from his afternoon.
“I think we can go away quite satisfied with the result today, especially after making up four places on our grid position,” said the Scot. “We compromised our qualifying by saving tyres yesterday, which was definitely the right approach, but we were just missing a bit more pace to do any more.
“I also got stuck a few times behind the Toro Rossos in the first, second and third stints, without which I probably could have finished a bit higher up. Still, there are a lot of positives because we made the strategy work, the pitstops went well and I think this result is the most we could have expected without the cars ahead of us running into problems.”
Team-mate Adrian Sutil finished just behind Di Resta, and said that this result was representative of their overall pace. “The end result today is about where we expected to be,” he said. “I did the opposite strategy to Paul by starting on the prime tyres, which were very slow to start with and the first stint was not that easy. Then, as I ran the options, the race started to come to me and I was able to move forward gradually.
“It was quite easy to overtake today because when the car ahead of you is struggling with the tyres there is such a big speed differential. In the closing laps the car felt good, but I could have done with two or three more laps to maximise my strategy and probably make up some more ground.”
Force India Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley defended the team’s strategy in qualifying, and congratulated his drivers on their efforts today.
“I don't think there's any doubt that our decision to save tyres yesterday was the right one and the fresh rubber certainly helped us optimise the strategy today,” he said. “Both Paul and Adrian did an excellent job – pushing hard and coming through the field. Adrian lost a little bit of time during one of his pitstops, but apart from that I think we got the most we could reasonably expect from the race.
“However, we know we have plenty of work to do before next week's race in Monaco and we still need to find some speed if we want to stay at the front of the midfield battle. Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso are all very closely matched at the moment and we need to establish our position at the head of that group and pushing the top ten.”