Force India today picked up a couple of points at the first ever home race for the team, delighting boss Vijay Mallya, who played a part in getting India its own grand prix.
Adrian Sutil finished in ninth place, but Paul di Resta could not join his team-mate in the top ten after a particularly aggressive strategy failed to pay off. The Scot came home in thirteenth place.
“Today's Indian Grand Prix was a great event and I hope that all the fans enjoyed the day as much as I did,” said Mallya. “We targeted points and that's exactly what we delivered with Adrian's excellent drive to ninth. As for Paul, he performed well, but we went very aggressive with the strategy to cover the chance of a safety car. In the end it didn't work out, but we needed to cover our bases.
“These two points are important for our championship battle and I'm delighted that Sahara Force India will go down in the record books for scoring points in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.”
Sutil was hopeful that his boss would be happy with his finishing position, but suspected that, without an engine failure for Sebastien Buemi, he may have only taken half the number of points.
“It was quite a good race and I think we can be happy with the two points today,” said the German, who is currently fighting for a place in the team for next season. “In the early laps I struggled with the rear of the car, with a bit of oversteer, and could not hold off the Toro Rossos who were a bit quicker today. But in the second and third stint the car balance improved and I was able to keep the Sauber [Perez] behind me in the closing laps. We were also fortunate that Buemi retired, which gave me another position. I think ninth was probably the maximum today and I hope Vijay will have a smile on his face tonight.”
Di Resta revealed that his strategy revolved around an early safety car that never materialised. “We went for a fairly aggressive strategy today – starting on the hard tyre – and it was always the plan to come in early with the hope of a safety car,” he explained.
“It was a gamble to get rid of the hard tyre early on, and if it had worked we would have gained a pit stop and done the race on three sets of softs, which was the quickest way. We had to do three stops because of the tyre wear, which was quite high to begin with, but got better later in the race. It's good that Adrian has picked up a couple of points, which are valuable for the championship, and that was the reason why we split the strategies.”
Mallya also insisted that no decision had yet been made on who would be driving for the team next year, despite the BBC and other sources suggesting that Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg will be in the car in 2012.
“Regarding my decision about the 2012 drivers, I have said this week that I will give an answer to the drivers before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” he said. “I already have three excellent drivers, who are all in the running, and the decision ahead will not be an easy one.”