Vijay Mallya’s original aim of a podium in Force India’s first home race was not realised, but they scored points.
|Adrian Sutil||Paul di Resta|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q2)||1’26.140 (-0.363)||1’26.503|
Force India drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Paul di Resta||103.958||100.167||113.601||94.55||93.994||93.96||93.663||93.5||94.147||93.384||93.696||93.108||93.497||93.447||93.77||93.278||95.011||92.661||95.39||113.512||92.294||93.286||91.974||92.28||94.159||93.642||91.933||91.641||94.681||91.439||91.344||91.293||91.255||91.54||90.831||90.991||90.61||90.553||93.185||108.061||89.696||90.165||89.379||89.636||89.434||89.908||89.573||89.977||89.782||89.635||90.028||89.443||89.713||89.324||89.07||88.954||88.852||88.709||88.679|
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.424s|
|Pit stop 2||Hard 21.977s|
Sutil is enjoying a timely resurgence in form amid some doubt over his future at the team in 2012. He grabbed a place in the top ten in the last knockings of Q2, leaving his team mate behind and taking eighth on the grid.
Michael Schumacher slipstreamed past him at the start, and the two Toro Rosso drivers easily passed him in the DRS zone later in the first stint.
However the demise of Felipe Massa and Sebastien Buemi promoted him back to ninth at the flag.
He said: “In the early laps I struggled with the rear of the car, with a bit of oversteer, and could not hold off the Toro Rossos who were a bit quicker today. But in the second and third stint the car balance improved and I was able to keep the Sauber [of Sergio Perez] behind me in the closing laps.”
Paul di Resta
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.525s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 24.15s|
|Pit stop 3||Soft 20.984s|
Di Resta felt he went the wrong way on set-up in qualifying: “I struggled with a bit of understeer in the high-speed corners and we couldn’t fix it during the session.
“I think the conditions cooled a little bit, which maybe didn’t help us because I couldn’t get the balance quite where I wanted it.”
Force India have tended to split their strategies in recent races and they did so again here. Di Resta started on hard tyres, hoping an early safety car intervention might help him get the unfavourable rubber out of the way with no penalty.
But not only did that not happen, he couldn’t complete the remaining distance on two sets of softs, and had to make an extra visit to the pits. He finished 13th:
“We went for a fairly aggressive strategy today – starting on the hard tyre – and it was always the plan to come in early with the hope of a safety car. It was a gamble to get rid of the hard tyre early on, and if it had worked we would have gained a pit stop and done the race on three sets of softs, which was the quickest way.
“We had to do three stops because of the tyre wear, which was quite high to begin with, but got better later in the race. It’s good that Adrian has picked up a couple of points, which are valuable for the championship, and that was the reason why we split the strategies.”
2011 Indian Grand Prix
Image © Force India F1 Team