Sutil's Points Gone After Clash With Raikkonen The German Grand Prix demonstrated the much-improved performance of the Force India Formula One Team with both Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella racing competitively with the sharp end of the ...
Sutil's Points Gone After Clash With Raikkonen
The German Grand Prix demonstrated the much-improved performance of the Force India Formula One Team with both Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella racing competitively with the sharp end of the field. Ultimately the results of 15th and 11th respectively betray the increased competitivity as Adrian was able to race within the top five for one third of the race distance while Giancarlo fought his way up six places from his starting position.
Adrian had started from seventh, his highest-ever grid slot, and had moved into second place, just 1.2secs behind the leader Rubens Barrichello by the time of his first pit stop on lap 27. Sadly he was unable to capitalise on this as he clashed with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen on the exit of the first corner, causing damage to his front wing endplate that forced a return to the pits for a nose change. Relegated to 17th Adrian nevertheless pushed hard to claw back to 15th overall.
Giancarlo Fisichella made a good start from 18th and had scythed through the field to ninth by his first stop on lap 18. On his second stint the Italian lowered his lap times almost every lap until he had moved back into tenth by his second stop. On rejoining he hunted down the pack of Kovalainen, Glock, Heidfeld and Nakajima to sit just three seconds from a points-scoring position. On the penultimate lap of the race Giancarlo was able to take Nakajima to secure 11th overall, seven positions up on his starting slot.
Adrian Sutil (car 20)
We shouldn't be that disappointed with this result as we have had a good weekend and the next one will come very soon. All our development shows we are on the right track and that we are much more competitive. It was a good race for me: the start was a bit difficult but I lost just one position. In the first stint I did really well and it was looking very promising as I was up to second by my first stop. When I went out of the pit lane I saw Kimi coming on the outside of the corner and I just tried to hold my line but he went to the outside and I touched him and lost part of my front wing. That's really when I thought the race was over for the points as I had to come back in. I kept pushing hard though as you never know what will happen. Overall I think we've learnt a lot; it's the first time starting in the top 10 and it's a different race up there! It's been a good push for everyone in the team to get some more development so we can finally get some points.
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21)
After the qualifying I had yesterday, I thought it would be a difficult race but I really enjoyed it and again got close to the points. I had a good start and overtook a lot of cars in the opening laps. I could catch and pass people quite easily, although I started to get a lot of graining on the softer tyres near the end of the first stint. On the second stint it was again quite good and then right at the end of the race I was really catching the group in front. Perhaps with a few extra laps I could have found a way past a couple more to try and challenge Kovalainen for eighth. I think we can be quite happy with this weekend, even if again we didn't get any points. We've taken a step forward and with some more developments coming through I think we could really have some more great races.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal
It's been largely all good this weekend and again I am very proud of the team and both our drivers. From free practice onwards we have shown a big step forward and our performance has been very competitive. It's just a shame that after such a great weekend performance that we don't have any points to show for it. Both that's motorsport - these incidents happen. The next race is only in a couple of weeks so we'll refocus on this and try to finish the job in Hungary.
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01):
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04):
-credit: force india