June 9th, 2013 (F1Plus / Ernie Black) - Sahara Force India may not be a top team but it is certainly putting its stamp of authority on the 2013 F1 season amongst the mid-fielders. Best of the rest is great for most teams, however Force India is just on the cusp of breaking through.
The team is clearly doing things right. The car is performing well and seems comfortable on any circuit. They have two very capable drivers who are skilled and confident. The Mercedes AMG power plant certainly likes to stretch its legs which was quite evident in Canada as Adrian Sutil nailed the fastest speeds in sector two in qualifying (283.0 KPH) and also in the race (288.6 KPH). He was the only driver to consistantly achieve that on both Saturday and Sunday.
Sahara Force India finished the weekend in Canada with Paul di Resta in 7th and Adrian Sutil in 10th - a double points finish which sees the team increase it's points lead in the Constructors Championship over McLaren to a total of 14 points.
One year ago, it would have been difficult to imagine that McLaren (37 points) would be trailing Force India (51 points) at this point of the 2013 season.
Lotus may be out of Force India's reach already as they sit at 114 points, however it is a long season and they may yet feel the Force.
Force India's Paul Di Resta expressed his satisfaction after a strong drive from 17th on the grid to 7th in the race: “To finish the race in seventh having started 17th is a great result and a top job by the team. I didn’t manage to get any long run data on Friday so it feels extra sweet to make this one-stop strategy work with a very long stint on the mediums.
"It also feels good to come back so strong after a difficult qualifying session. The tyres lasted very well, the lap times were competitive and the team told me it was my decision about when to make my stop. As soon as I felt the tyres starting to drop off, I came in. Then it was a case of looking after the supersofts for the final few laps.”
Adrian Sutil managed to bring his car home in tenth after an eventful race that included a spin, a collision and a drive-through penalty.
“That race was quite an adventure so it’s good to come away with a point given everything that happened. I had a spin when I tried to overtake Bottas, which cost me quite a few positions and I was lucky nobody hit me when I was in the middle of the track. I dropped back and the pack was bunched together, which is when Maldonado ran into the back of me and damaged my rear wing.
"Even with all those things I was running in eighth until the drive-through penalty. I don’t think it was a fair penalty because I too had to lap so many cars today and it sometimes took one or two laps, and that’s normal for this circuit. The penalty cost me two positions and three points.” Sutil Said.