October 27th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Force India drivers Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil recorded a double points finish in the Indian Grand Prix, one of the team's home races. It's the team's first double points finish since the British Grand Prix in June.
Paul Di Resta finished eighth, just under two seconds ahead of Sutil, although the two drivers were on quite different tyre strategies.
Di Resta started on the soft tyres, but pitted at the end of the first lap for medium tyres. He made a second stop later in the race, also for medium tyres which he kept on the car until the end of the race.
Sutil, by contrast, started on the medium tyres, and stopped only once. That meant he had to run extremely far into the race, only pitting at the end of lap 41 out of 60. He then had the unenviable task of having to make the soft tyres last 19 laps, but was able to make his strategy work and collected two points for ninth place.
Force India team principal Dr Vijay Mallya, expressed his satisfaction with the team's strong result:
“Like everybody in the team I am delighted to see both Sahara Force Indias score points in our home race. That’s the goal we set ourselves ahead of the weekend and the six points scored are very important for strengthening our position in the Constructors’ Championship."
This is what the drivers had to say after the race:
Paul Di Resta: “It’s great to score points here in India – the team’s home Grand Prix and a really important race for us. We took an aggressive strategy by pitting at the end of the first lap to change from softs to medium tyres – which was always the plan. After that we effectively split the race in two and I pitted again for my second set of medium tyres on lap 30. The other positive is that we’ve steadily improved the car over the last few weeks and I’m feeling more comfortable, so I think we can be optimistic of performing at a similar level in Abu Dhabi next week.”
Adrian Sutil: “The target was to score points so eighth and ninth places are a great result for us today. My one-stop strategy was the riskier approach and it was only during the race that we decided to go ahead with it. The medium tyres, which I started on, were performing really well and I realised that doing a one-stop race was possible. We thought that the soft tyres would only last around five laps, so I made sure I really looked after them, and in the end I managed just under twenty laps. After some difficult races recently, we showed everybody what we can achieve with some great teamwork today.”