Force India celebrates 100th GP with double-score
Montreal: Sahara Force India celebrated its 100th race in style, scoring seven points with Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil finishing in seventh and 10th places respectively at the Canadian Grand Prix here.
Starting 17th on the grid, Di Resta drove a magnificent race and climbed to seventh position which he managed to maintain to pocket six points at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Sunday.
His team-mate Sutil, who started eight, was lucky to get away with a spin in Turn 2 early on while fighting Valtteri Bottas of Williams for sixth and lost his chance of finishing eighth when he was given a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags for the Lewis Hamilton/Fernando Alonso fight.
Red Bull`s Sebastian Vettel won the Canadian Grand Prix for the first time to claim the 29th victory of his record-breaking career.
Starting from the pole position, the defending triple world champion finished 14.408 seconds clear ahead of second-placed Fernando Alonso of Ferrari who fought from sixth spot on the grid to finish on the podium.
Mercedes` Lewis Hamilton finished third, while Australian Mark Webber came fourth in the second Red Bull ahead of Monaco winner Nico Rosberg of Mercedes.
Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso came up with his best-ever sixth place finish ahead of Force India`s Di Resta.
Sutil finished 10th in the second Sahara Force India car behind Felipe Massa of Ferrari and Lotus`s Kimi Raikkonen.
Di Resta, expectedly, was over the moon to finish seventh after starting as low as 17th on the grid.
"To finish the race in seventh having started 17th is a great result and a top job by the team," he said.
"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," Di Resta said.
"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," the Briton said elaborating on his race strategy.
Sutil added, "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," he said.
"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," the German said.
Sahara Force India`s Deputy Team Principal, Robert Fernley was happy with the overall result from the Canadian Grand Prix.
"It`s great to see both our cars in the points at our 100th Grand Prix. It brings our tally to 51 points and strengthens our fifth position in the championship," he said.
"Paul showed his fighting spirit with a remarkable drive to seventh with just one stop. Adrian`s afternoon was rather more eventful, but it was a disappointment to pick up the penalty in the closing laps so it`s something we need to review. Overall I think we should be pleased with the outcome after a challenging weekend," Fernley added.