Monte Carlo: For the first time, both the Force India cars finished among points but Hispania driver Karun Chandhok was among the 12 drivers who did not last the distance in the Monaco Grand Prix which turned out to be a bloodbath of a race.
Beginning 12th on the grid, Force India`s Adrian Sutil drove a sensible race to finish ninth, just ahead of teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi who had started two places ahead of him.
The three points earned today -- Sutil contributed two and Liuzzi one -- consolidated their sixth place in the Constructors` Championship with 27 points.
Karun drove a mature race today and steered cleared of the chaos around him but his luck ran out in the fag end and the Indian in fact had a close shave as Lotus` Jarno Trulli went over the top of Karun`s car with the alarmed Indian ducking and raising both his hands in horror.
Utterly dejected after the sad end to his race, Karun said though Trulli later apologised, the accident robbed him of the chance of recording the best finish among the new three teams.
"Trulli has apologised to me but there was absolutely no way he could get through there," said the Chennai driver after the race which saw yet another Red Bull one-two with Mark Webber staving off the challenge from teammate Sebastian Vettel.
"It`s a real shame because I was driving my best race of the year so far and I was on track to be the best of the new teams. His car just missed my head," said the Indian.
Force India chairman Vijay Mallya was delighted with the outcome and promised even more better show in Turkey.
“I am delighted with today’s results. At the start of the season we said we wanted to be regular points’ finishers and to date that’s exactly what we have done, but to do so with two cars is a real step up,” Mallya said.
“Adrian and Tonio drove brilliant races, keeping focused despite the numerous safety car periods and yellow flags, and really deserved to get in the points. It’s very pleasing to see us keeping pace yet again with the larger teams on merit and we can now take this result away with us, build on it and come back even stronger in Turkey,” he added.
Sutil too sounded happy after his ninth place finish and the Germand said there was nothing to complain about Sunday.
“It was a very good race for us here today. I was P12 on the grid but we had a really great start and I made up two positions on the first lap. We then had a good first stop where I gained a position to be P9 and then I could just do my own race,” Sutil said.
“I had quite a lonely race with a big gap most of the time to the car in front and then the car behind so I was just pacing myself for a lot of the race. I had a very good balance at the end when the grip picked up so I am pretty happy with everything today. Ninth position and a few points, we can be quite satisfied with this after the qualifying yesterday,” Sutil added.
Liuzzi, on his part, felt both cars among points augurs well for the side.
“As a team we can be very satisfied as we got both cars in the top ten and in the points, which is good for the overall morale of the team. We have really deserved this type of result but for various reasons this is the first time it’s happened. It’s really just the start - we have to try and carry this forward for the rest of the season.
“We are doing a good job back at the factory and from this point on the circuits should come towards us so we can be positive about the future,” said the Italian.