Sahara Force India picked up four points in the Italian Grand Prix as Paul Di Resta battled hard to finish in eighth place. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg was forced to retire in the closing stages with brake issues.
Paul: “Coming into this weekend I probably would have settled for eighth place, but when you consider the pace we showed in qualifying yesterday, we certainly had high hopes for the race. I struggled at the start with the heavy fuel load and didn’t really have the race pace on the medium tyres.
Things improved after my stop when I was running the hard compound and our pace was much stronger towards the end of the race. But there was no way I could keep the Mercedes behind me and with their two-stop strategy they had a bit more speed than us.
It’s good to extend our lead over Williams with a few more points, but obviously Sauber look strong and outperformed a lot of people. We will take the positives from the weekend, analyse things and try and improve our race pace in time for Singapore.”
Nico: “It’s always frustrating to start right at the back and I knew it was going to be difficult to come through the pack – even with a quick car. I had a few good fights in the race – so from that point of view it was fun, but I was struggling with my brakes from lap one with a long pedal and I lost more performance as the race went on.
Towards the end it became a safety concern so we decided to retire the car. It’s not been a particularly memorable weekend for me, but at least the team scored some points with the other car.”
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director “I think we made the most of a challenging race today. Despite the speed we showed yesterday, we did not have the race pace early on to fight the cars ahead of us. So all considered I’m pleased to see Paul come home eighth and score four points.
The one-stop strategy worked well for us and the car was coming on strong in the closing stages of the race. We were a bit fortunate with some retirements, but we were in the right place to maximise the opportunities.
Nico's difficult weekend continued as he suffered with brake issues all afternoon. He made some progress early in the race, but as the brake problem deteriorated there was no choice but to retire the car.”
Source: Sahara Force India Formula One Team