Melbourne: Sahara Force India started off their new Formula One season on a resounding note when comeback man Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta finished seventh and eighth, respectively in the Australian Grand Prix, earning the team 10 World Championship points.
Germany`s Adrian Sutil moved up five places on the grid to earn six points, while Britain`s Paul di Resta, who was ninth fastest in the qualifying, gained a position to collect four points.
Sutil, who was struggling with his super-soft tyres in the final stint, said this result for the team was a perfect way to start the season.
"What a fantastic race and a great feeling. I started on the medium tyres, a different strategy to most of the cars ahead of me, and I think this was the right decision."
"The pace was quick and the car felt very good on the medium tyres so I was able to keep up with the guys in front of me, who I knew were going to pit early. It was not long until I was leading the race, my first time leading in Formula One," he said.
"After my second pit stop, I was back in the lead once again. My final stint on the super-softs was much more difficult because the tyres started graining and I lost a few places. I was thinking I might need to pit again, but fortunately the tyres came back to me for the final few laps so I could save the seventh place. I want to say a big `thank you` to the team once again," Sutil added.
Di Resta was equally impressed with the way Force India team performed and said the top-ten finish for both the cars is a great way to kick off the season.
"Seventh and eighth for the team is a great result and a great way to kick off the season. We`ve shown we have a car that is kind on its tyres and that helped us today by making less stops than some of our rivals.
"I feel I had a car that could have finished seventh, but I was stuck behind some of the three-stoppers at the start of my second stint, and that cost me quite a lot of track position. There are a lot of positives to take from the race, as well as some things that we can improve to make the car stronger, but we`re in a good position heading to Malaysia," said di Resta.
The Silverstone-based team managed only a point in the last year`s Australia GP where di Resta came tenth. In 2011, Sutil and di Resta finished ninth and 10th.
First Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013, 16:38