Force India: Di Resta stays in front of Sutil

2011 Chinese GP team review

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Rookie Paul di Resta continued his impressive start to the year at Shanghai.

Adrian SutilPaul di Resta
Qualifying position118
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’35.874 (+0.016)1’35.858
Race position1511
Pit stops32

Force India drivers’ lap times throughout the race:

Adrian Sutil111.272106.106105.332106.047105.696105.17104.891105.208105.196105.609105.753105.336105.813106.317110.698122.151103.825104.032103.898104.205103.954103.472103.909103.775104.385104.152104.327104.549104.957109.327122.444103.987103.759103.34103.386103.286103.382103.698103.024103.233102.619102.94102.976103.502104.043103.704124.915128.243101.238101.651102.607102.884102.301101.157101.275
Paul di Resta110.598106.021105.396106.12105.629105.019104.762105.048105.816105.401110.557121.875104.961103.799103.625104.907104.058104.259103.901103.926103.814103.813103.816104.203103.791104.769104.782104.556104.042104.822105.028111.009121.614103.185104.006102.805102.995103.295102.687102.948102.782102.942102.933102.838102.614103.004102.936102.94103.276103.133103.526104.152105.281104.802105.279106.887

Adrian Sutil

Made a strong start from 11th on the grid to run eighth behind his team mate. He was as high as sixth before his first pit stop.

He was in 11th place and set to run to the end when Sergio Perez hit him at turn one.

The contact broke Sutil’s front wing, forcing him to pit again and leaving him 15th. Sutil said the contact “cost me the race”.

Adrian Sutil 2011 form guide

Paul di Resta, Force India, Shanghai, 2011

Paul di Resta

Missed second practice due to a fuel pressure problem on his car. Reached Q3 for the first time, qualifying eighth, and kept up his run of out-qualifying Sutil.

He gained a place at the start and made an early first pit stop as the team tried – unsuccessfully – to maintain his track position advantage over Michael Schumacher.

That cost him as his tyres went off at the end of the race, leaving him unable to keep Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi from dropping him out of the points.

Nico Hulkenberg

Drove in place of Sutil in first practice.

Paul di Resta 2011 form guide

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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    29 comments on “Force India: Di Resta stays in front of Sutil”

    1. Both drivers are doing well with a distinctly average car. Nearly a points finish for Di Resta too. Nice job, although I don’t think we will see better results without a few car developments

      1. In 2010 they should have improved the car that got pole at Spa, but they were average all year and had no exploits. This year follows that trend.

        1. They had a lot of key personnel leave their squad last year, and that is why they had a performance dip halfway through the season. Their 2011 car is on level terms with Sauber and Toro Rosso, but having the strongest mid-field driver lineup definitely helps them get more points than they should.

          1. I don’t know if they have the strongest midfield driver lineup. I think Sauber’s pretty strong as well. There’s no real way of knowing how the cars and drivers of the two teams compare to each other though.

    2. Looks like the tire wear is too high. Both drivers did well on fresh rubber (Sutil was looking to unlap himself near the end), but the wear seems to be too fast.

      1. Everyone was suffering from bad tyres at the end of a stint, not only the Force Indias. The 3 stop strategy was the way to go.

        1. True enough, I had a feeling though that the wear was perhaps just a little worse for the force indias than it should be. I’ll have to look at the numbers. :)

    3. It’s easy to go starry-eyed at Sergio Perez’s Melbourne performance, but he hasn’t really replicated it since. It’s difficult to judge Sepang because of his untimely exit, and Shanghai was marked by messy scrapes with Sutil and Heidfeld. I’m not denying that he has talent, but if we’re talking about the best rookie so far this year, then it has to be Paul di Resta. He’s out-qualified Sutil three times now, and out-raced him twice (and finished right behind him the other time). He might not have had the high-profile races like Perez, but he’s kept his nose out of trouble when it counts. His eighth in qualifying for Shanghai has been the standout performance by a rookie this season. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do at a circuit he knows intimately, like Catalunya.

      1. Indeed. But lets not pressurise the guy too early.

        If you remember everyone slated Kamui last year early on saying where has all of the pace gone. Then once he was bedded in he did really well.

        These new guys need, but rarely get enough space, to be allowed to get used to the high level of consistency required to be in F1.

        This is one of the best crops of young drivers for some time. Perez, Di Resta, D’Ambrosio, Maldonado (who I still think will come good)..

        1. Oh yes, and in 2 years time I’m predicting Hulk and Di resta as the factory Merc drivers, and Perez in a Ferrari.

          Call it a hunch.

          1. Rosberg to Mclaren as retired Button’s replacement? :P

          2. I’m predicting Hulk and Di resta as the factory Merc drivers, and Perez in a Ferrari.

            I’m not seeing a future with Hulkenberg in it at all. Ferrari won’t put Bianchi straight into a Ferrari – he’ll go through Sauber first. Esteban Gutirrez is another possibility. And then there’s Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna, not to mention Davide Valsecchi and Karun Chandhok. There’s half a dozen drivers who will be vying for those seats, and I just don’t think one pole position is going to guarantee Hulkenberg’s future. He certainly won’t be getting into a Mercedes works drive straight from a Force India test and reserve seat.

            1. I dont think one pole will secure a future for Hulk either, but a good amount of talent will.

              I dont think he’ll be in a test/reserve role at FI for much longer. He’ll be racing by the end of the year.

            2. I didn’t mention Bianchi ;-)

      2. I can see di Resta becoming the new Heidfeld – you can depend on him to bring the car home in a position worthy of its potential, but without really noticing him do it!

        1. Doubt it. Hes much better than heidfeld (IMHO)

          And I dont think he’s suit the beard.

          1. Its a bit early to say that dude. Lets wait and see if he finishes ahead of sutil in points at the end of the season.

            Its very easy to get carried away in the first few races, but its a very, very long season and Sutil might just be going through a rough patch.

      3. Maybe its because I’m not English and so I dont have those English emotions, but I just dont see anything special in Di Resta.

        All he has proven is just how bad Sutil actually is this season.

    4. Loving how Sutil is falling behind Di Resta. I’ve always thought he had done nothing special over the past few years and people seriously overrated him.

      I know, only 3 races, but still…

      1. Loving how Sutil is falling behind Di Resta. I’ve always thought he had done nothing special over the past few years and people seriously overrated him.


        1. Sutil is winning in the Championship though. :/

      2. To be honest I was thinking the same but Sutil is finishing higher than him. I think it’s just qualifying though that Di Resta is better at?

    5. They got nailed by doing a two stopper, as did loads of other drivers yesterday including Vettel in the all conquering RB7. I’m not sure what they’ve added to the car as it looks visually similar to testing but the pace has improved definitely.

      1. Well Sutil was on a two stopper, his third stop was unscheduled but after that, I remember seeing him unlap himself by overtaking Vettel or someone.

    6. it’s a bit weird how close they are with other mid field teams. that too w/o much development….

      1. Well, without very visible and loudly putting things on the car. DiResta did say they put some new things on the car though – I guess the exhausts still can be optimised quite a bit, for one. They seem to have found a bit of a path forward, at least their times were consistent.

    7. This year could be the last year in F1 for Sutil. He have to show he has something. Last year, first half of the season was great. the best ever car(well, not better than 2009 Spa, Monza though) and consistent Q3…but later it changed. Korea was disaster. sometimes Liuzzi looks better. He’s much more experienced than half of the grid, he’s running out of time.

    8. Another good result for Di Resta. He looked really shaky in FP2 on the pit-wall, you could tell he was itching to get out there.

      Don’t really know what Sutil is on about…Perez hardly cost him the race. If he was in 11th he was out of the points anyway.

    9. I’m enjoying watching Di Rests, he seems a natural, and I think he’ll go far. Would quite like to see him and Franchitti racing together :P

      I think Sutil has been a bit overrated in the past, but I still think he has something to offer the sport in the future, it’s just a case of whether he’ll get that true platform to perform at Force India or not.

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