Tyre blunder (Force India race review)

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Force India suffered a dreadful weekend and were fortunate not to be more severely punished for fitting the wrong tyres to their cars during the race.

Adrian Sutil Vitantonio Liuzzi
Qualifying position 19 21
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’16.220 (-2.732) 1’18.952
Race position 17 16
Average race lap 1’21.267 (+0.158) 1’21.108
Laps 65/67 65/67
Pit stops 3 3

Open lap times interactive chart in new window

Adrian Sutil

Sutil’s race weekend started to go wrong on Saturday morning when he was struck with a clutch problem during practice. The resulting gearbox change gave him a five-place grid penalty, leaving him to start from 19th.

The team decided to start him on super-soft tyres but make an early switch to hards, as Sutil explained:

It was always our strategy that, if after the start I had not made up places, I would pit on the first lap to change to the prime tyres and make up positions when other cars stopped later on. It was a good plan as you have nothing to lose when you are that far down, but there was some confusion in the stop.

Tonio had radioed to say he was coming in for a front wing change and as we both arrived at the same time the tyre sets got mixed up and then I had to come in and pit again to get the correct set.

Once they were on I got going and I could get quite far up the field but then I had to stop when the set went off.
Adrian Sutil

During the confusion the same tyre was fitted to each car at different points in the race. Sutil had to make another pit stop to hand his team mate’s tyre back, then a third later in the race after going through the gravel in the stadium.

Perhaps not wanting to heap more misery upon the team, the stewards chose only to reprimand them. At any rate, Sutil only finished 17th.

Compare Adrian Sutil’s form against his team mate in 2010

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Broke his front wing on the first lap, leading to the mix-up with his team mate and also racked up three visits to the pits on his way to 16th.

Compare Vitantonio Liuzzi’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 German Grand Prix

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