Force India: Points but no podium in first home race

2011 Indian GP team review

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 position 8 12
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’26.140 (-0.363) 1’26.503
Race position 9 13
Laps 59/60 59/60
Pit stops 2 3

Force India drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Adrian Sutil 101.464 96.529 95.196 94.599 93.906 93.889 93.516 93.47 93.75 93.231 93.241 93.31 93.717 95.294 97.265 111.441 92.34 91.827 92.347 92.018 92.078 92.031 92.462 91.828 92.26 92.006 91.844 91.465 91.388 91.322 91.224 91.143 91.46 92.002 93.381 111.919 91.706 92.706 90.835 90.859 91.062 90.402 90.7 89.907 90.022 90.324 90.582 89.967 89.599 89.708 89.419 89.492 90.117 92.374 90.614 89.37 89.394 89.549 89.289
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

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Buddh International Circuit

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Buddh International Circuit

Start tyre Soft
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.”

Adrian Sutil 2011 form guide

Paul di Resta

Start tyre Hard
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 ?ǣ starting on the hard tyre ?ǣ 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.”

Paul di Resta 2011 form guide

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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38 comments on Force India: Points but no podium in first home race

  1. marco_ferrari said on 31st October 2011, 13:04

    Another prove that on tracks with elevations and high speed corners is Sutil still better then Di Resta… I think he can be fast at Interlagos, too… Overall, good job from Adrian and still it is sad and funny at the same time, that he must fear for his place having scored more points then his teammate…

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st October 2011, 13:17

    Funny how it feels as if they did pretty good, but actually both lost a place compared to where they started. And that’s not even counting the 2 guys in front dropping out.

    I think Sutil is really on a good run after a bit of a troublesome start to the year. If he goes to Williams, its not a bad choice.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 31st October 2011, 14:07

      The differences in the second half of the season are enormous: Sauber have dropped back, Toro Rosso have improved, and Sutil is beating di Resta. I may have to reconsider my opinions of him :P

      • laird18 said on 31st October 2011, 14:55

        Your generalisation that Sutil is ‘beating’ Di Resta over the second half of the season is wrong.

        Since Germany (mid-season race) Di Resta has outscored Sutil by 19 points to 12, and their pace continues to be very close.

        Obviously this weekend was disappointing for Di Resta: he didn’t maximise the qualifying and went with the wrong strategy. The margins in the mid-field are very fine.

        • Er no you are wrong. I checked the standings and since the German Grand Prix Sutil has finished in the points 4 times in 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th and scored 20 points.

          In the same period Di Resta has finished 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th and scored 19 points. So Sutil is beating Di Resta over the second half of the season, albeit only by 1 point.

  3. tyngdekraft (@tyngdekraft) said on 31st October 2011, 13:18

    I still think Di Resta is a bit overrated…

    • laird18 said on 31st October 2011, 14:42

      By who?

      • tflb1 (@) said on 31st October 2011, 17:48

        By the media and British fans.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st October 2011, 17:52

          @tyngdekraft @tflb1 Instead of complaining that other people don’t share the same opinion as you, why not tell us why you disagree? Otherwise you’re just whingeing.

          • tflb1 (@) said on 31st October 2011, 21:26

            I wasn’t whinging, I was just stating the obvious. But since you insist:

            Di Resta has now been outqualified by Sutil 9-8. In comparison, Maldonado has also been outqualified 9-8, while Perez has beaten Kobayashi 10-7. Yes, Di Resta has the most points of the three but he also has by far the best car. Indeed, Williams and Sauber are finding it hard to score any points at all. Yet Perez and Maldonado have for me shown something exceptional which has been lacking in Di Resta. Perez’ drive in Australia and Maldonado’s in Monaco were two of the best drives I’ve seen by rookies in years, and they clearly outperformed their teammates and cars. Di Resta, on the other hand, has been solid but not spectacular. In addition, he’s looked like an accident waiting to happen when involved in close racing, although the same could also be said of Perez and Maldonado.

            Di Resta is good no doubt, but many fans have been saying how he’s ‘thrashed’ Sutil and ‘is clearly a world champion – in – waiting’. I’m sorry, but that’s like saying a baby is the next Usain Bolt when he’s only just started walking.

          • laird18 said on 1st November 2011, 9:53

            @tflb1

            Strange that you hold Maldonado’s DNF in Monaco in such high esteem but don’t mention Di Resta’s 6th place in Singapore (the hardest race), or his running in 5th place in Canada, or his 6th on the grid in Silverstone, or his 7th at a wet Hungary. Di Resta has shown ‘something exceptional’ on many occasions this year.

            Also this simplistic use of the outqualifying metric (9-8 vs 10-7 etc) really is getting pretty old. It really doesn’t tell us that much, especially this year, when drivers are changing their setup to compromise qualy for race pace.

            The ones who have the real knowledge about how fast Di Resta is are his team — Force India — and we’ll see in two weeks time how highly they rate him.

            Also, I can’t stand this phrase that has entered common usage “So-and-so is overrated…”. It is utterly pointless. It’s impossible to gauge other people’s opinions in the whole so why even bother? It seems to just be an excuse to just to be negative. Who here has said he’s ‘thrashed’ Sutil or ‘is clearly a world champion’?? So why bring it up?

            There may be some people who get over excited about new talents coming in to the sport, but what is more depressing is people like you who only want to put them down.

            I wish Di Rest all the best.

          • tflb1 (@) said on 1st November 2011, 18:51

            @laird18

            I rate Maldonado’s performance in Monaco so highly because of the general performance (or lack thereof) of the Williams car this seeason. To be fighting with Massa and Rosberg in the worst of the midfield cars is no mean feat. He also lapped Barrichello. Fthe most part, Di Resta’s performances which you have mentioned have come with only a tiny gap over his teammate in pace.

            With regards to the overrating thing, yes I have seen many people on the internet say things like I quoted. Not so much here, but elsewhere. I’m not saying everyone does it, but it happens. And as I said, there is no doubt Di Resta is good, very good in fact, and like you I wish him all the best, but I do feel as if certain sections of the media and fans have got a little carried away with their praise of him. You know how it was with ITV and Hamilton? Well, at times on the BBC this year the situation has been the same with Di Resta.

        • f1craze (@rahultajay) said on 31st October 2011, 23:38

          mate, you forgot about diresta’s amazing drive in singapore… he was keeping a ferrari behind him.. thats how good his pace was… well, the car gud had pace but sutil was struggling to keep up with him….

          • f1craze (@rahultajay) said on 31st October 2011, 23:45

            also, sutil had amazing drives as well….. in nurburgring and spa, where adrian was very very impressive , diresta looked like he was driving HRT….

            anyways both drivers are sooo closely matched… and in my opinion, they shud retain this driving pair for next year…

          • sbedekar93 (@sbedekar93) said on 1st November 2011, 4:34

            Its been seen that di resta performs well on twisty high downforce tracks and sutil on fast flowing tracks .. SFI needs to find one driver who can be competitive on both types of tracks .. IF not nico getting back GIANCARLO and pairing him against PDIR would be a good mix … wat say guys

          • laird18 said on 1st November 2011, 9:26

            @rahultajay That’s nonsense. Di Resta finished further down at Nurburgring and Spa because his car was damaged on the first lap. Both occasions were not his fault: his opponents were given penalties.

            Contrary to your ill-formed opinion Di Resta has consistently been on the pace.

          • laird18 said on 1st November 2011, 10:03

            Apologies, the use of “ill-formed” in that last sentence is a unintentionally aggressive. No offence meant.

  4. Enigma (@enigma) said on 31st October 2011, 14:32

    Vijay Mallya couldn’t have a harder decision to make. An experienced driver doing a good job, a rookie that’s usually slightly slower and a talented third driver.

    • xanathos (@xanathos) said on 31st October 2011, 15:02

      How long before he will start supporting Ferrari’s three-car idea???

    • I see it differently- two young guns with promise or a guy who has been in the sport for 5 years (I think) and hasn’t really done anything and is struggling against a rookie?

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 31st October 2011, 15:46

        Dropping an experienced driver who has simply been better at bring home results to have two young guns can easily backfire (no pun intended). Just ask Lotus Renault.

        • laird18 said on 1st November 2011, 9:28

          Yeah, but the difference is Force India’s two young guns are actually good!

          Di Resta and Hulkenberg are 1000x better than Petrov and Senna.

      • 1 of the 3 said on 31st October 2011, 21:09

        @ Steph – di Resta a young gun? Hardly! He’s 25 and Sutil is 28. Now Perez on the other hand IS a young gun at 21. Honestly, di Resta isn’t that young for F1.

        And yes indeed to @David A’s comment about Lotus Renault. FI could learn a lesson there…

  5. TED BELL said on 31st October 2011, 15:53

    Come on, a podium finish for these guys?? It would take an almost unimaginable situation for this team to get to the podium. The combination of those who would have to fail to finish for a Force India podium is less likely to happen than the chance of Vettel joining HRT. I understand that when you are in India and at the very frist Indian Grand Prix and one of your drivers is Indian , Vijay Malla has nothing to lose by playing the idea of a podium into the heads of the local media. He got the results didn’t he?

    • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 31st October 2011, 16:12

      He doesn’t have an Indian driver?! Team Caterham-Lotus-Fernandes have Chandhok and HRT have Karthikeyan – neither of which have a regular race seat.

      • TED BELL said on 31st October 2011, 22:37

        Sometimes when you look into the bottom of the bucket no matter how much you stir it things seem sort of the same. Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 31st October 2011, 16:20

      I could have sworn he talked of a podium in India all the way back when he took over the team in 2007.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st November 2011, 13:14

      A good result to get in the points. Perhaps they had no chance of being on the podium this year, but they have been on the podium before, most recently being Spa 2009.

      They have the capability, or did so in the past at least.

  6. Dev (@dev) said on 31st October 2011, 16:18

    i think Sutil’s exploration to openly check out other teams & offers did not please Vijay, di Resta has done a decent job in his rookie season, despite having some bad luck at Canada & Silverstone he has scored good number of points. With a years experience di Resta will only get better, Sutil can’t get any better than this. 5 years we have seen all he has to offer. he is good driver but i believe that di Resta & Hulkenberg would be way to go ahead. dumping liuzzi last year was a right call & dumping Sutil would also turn out to be right for the team next year.

    • TED BELL said on 31st October 2011, 22:39

      PDR is the real deal and will prove it when given the opportunity of racing with better equipment. Rookie of the year 2011.

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st November 2011, 3:06

    I thought both of them will be in the points but they should be happy of what they have achieved.

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