Force India press release
Sahara Force India picked up a point in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as Paul Di Resta grabbed the final point in a dramatic last corner squabble. Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg was an innocent victim of the first lap carnage as he was hit from behind, which damaged the rear suspension and led to an early retirement.
Paul Di Resta (P10)
Tyre strategy: Soft / Soft / Medium
Paul: “It’s always nice to start the season with a point, but it was not looking too promising until the last few laps when my engineer told me that I was catching the cars ahead of me. Fortunately I had saved quite a bit of KERS for the last corner, which helped me get a good run on Vergne and beat him to the line for tenth. So it was a pretty exciting final lap. It’s a good way to start the season, but it’s clear we have a lot of work to do because we were struggling for pace at the start of each stint, which hurt my overall race pace. Even so, considering where I started and the weekend we’ve had, I don’t think I can be disappointed to have come away with a point.”
Nico Hulkenberg (DNF)
Tyre strategy: Soft
Nico: “I don’t seem to have much luck at Albert Park. My first race here in 2010 was less than a lap and today was a repeat of that. I’m still not really sure what happened, but I got hit when I turned into the first corner on lap one.
It’s such a shame because I had made a great start, moved up a couple of positions and then I just felt somebody tap me from behind. There was a puncture and the suspension was damaged so my race was over and I had to park up. These things happen when 22 cars are battling going into a tight first corner, but it’s really frustrating to miss out after such a good qualifying session. The good thing is that I will be back in the car in five days’ time, which is the best way to bounce back and get over the disappointment.”
Today’s race was likely to be full of drama
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“We always felt that today’s race was likely to be full of drama and it didn’t disappoint – particularly the closing lap of the race when Paul did an excellent job to grab the final point in the dash to the line. He drove a very clean race, stayed out of trouble and made the most of the strategy, but ultimately he struggled for absolute pace over the duration of the stints, which is something we need to address.
As for Nico, he was simply the innocent victim of the turn one chaos. He got hit quite hard from behind going into turn one, which caused some serious damage to the left rear suspension and he immediately came on the radio to say that he needed to park the car. We have to take this on the chin because it’s part of racing, but it’s disappointing for Nico who needs all the race miles he can get at the moment. Still, he’s shown what he is capable of and he can be proud of the job he has done this weekend.”