No points for Force India from Spanish GP

Force India's pointless streak continued as Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil finished 12th and 13th respectively in the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday.

Updated: May 22, 2011 22:00 IST
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Barcelona: Force India's pointless streak continued as Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil finished 12th and 13th respectively in the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday.

It's now third race in a row that Force India has returned empty handed. The previous two races in China and Turkey had also not yielded any point for the Silverstone-based outfit.

Meanwhile, India's Narain Karthikeyan finished last in the 21st position as three drivers retired, including Ferrari's Felipe Massa. Karthikeyan's Hispania teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi and Heikki Kovalainen of Lotus were the other drivers who did not finish.

Force India had compromised on its qualifying session here for the sake of tyres and had they got slightly better on the grid they could have been in top-10 since both the drivers raced well, especially the less-experienced di Resta.

Di Resta, who started 16th on the grid, had zoomed up to eighth position between lap 25 and 30 when other teams went for the pit stop.

He had an intense battle with Sebastien Buemi of Torro Rosso in a desperate bid to sneak into the top-10 and succeeded in lap 42 and stayed there for about 10 laps.

But in the end, he and his German team-mate Sutil finished outside the points bracket.

Red Bull's defending champion Sebastian Vettel put up a dominating show, winning his fourth race of the season while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was second, followed by his team-mate Jenson Button.

Red Bull's Mark Webber, who was on pole, finished fourth. Renault's Nick Heidfeld, who was last on the grid, finished eighth to grab four points.

Paul Di Resta came out a satisfied man after the race. "I think we can go away quite satisfied with the result today, especially after making up four places on our grid position. 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.

"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," the Scot said.

Adrian Sutil said the result was on expected lines. "The end result today is about where we expected to be. 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," he said.

Robert Fernley, deputy Team Principal, said the strategy of saving tyres during the qualifying worked well for them.

"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. 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," he said.

"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," he added.

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