Canadian GP: Force India race report

14 June, 2010

Tonio Liuzzi spent the afternoon battling Felipe Massa

Tonio Liuzzi spent the afternoon battling Felipe Massa

Jun.13 (Grand Prix 247) The Force India F1 Team secured a double points finish in today’s Canadian Grand Prix, with Tonio Liuzzi claiming ninth position and Adrian Sutil tenth. But it was a case of what might have been as Tonio was pushed wide at the first corner after the start and forced to pit for a new front wing, while Adrian picked up a puncture while fighting with Robert Kubica on lap 27. Both incidents relegated them to the rear of the field, however the pair refused to give up and fought to the end to give Force India a further three constructors’ points.

Adrian had a good start from ninth on the grid and made an early pit stop to change to the medium tyre compound on lap six when his soft tyres grained excessively. He recovered to enjoy a tight battle with Kubica for sixth but the pair touched wheels, with Adrian picking up a rear right puncture that necessitated a further pit stop. He dropped back to 13th however was able to reclaim tenth after hard battles with Hulkenberg, Massa, and ultimately his team-mate Tonio. He finally moved into the points when he overtook Michael Schumacher on the final lap.

Tonio was desperately unfortunate not to be able to convert his fifth place starting position after he was squeezed onto the grass in the first corner. He fell to last after the stop for a new front wing, but was able to make in-roads into the field with a series of qualifying-style laps while the rest of the field pitted. By a third distance he was 13th and involved in the tight battle with Alguersuari, Massa, Adrian and Hulkenberg. Sensing points were still possible Tonio then closed to seconds from tenth, which he claimed when Massa pitted. He then put in some banzai laps to close on a slowing Schumacher and secured ninth position on the final lap.

Adrian Sutil – car 14
Like Tonio, it was a pretty hard race. At the start I was racing Kubica and it seemed we could have got into the top five again, but then we touched and I got a puncture. Unfortunately it was at the first corner so I had to drive the whole lap back to the pits. I lost a lot of time like this and dropped out of the top ten, and then had to fight my way past Hulkenberg and then Schumacher to get back in the points. At the end of the race we knew Michael had some problems with his tyres so I really pushed to close the gap and I just got past him on the last corner to get the final point. Of course I’m disappointed as I think we could have got some serious points here today but I think I drove well, the car was good and we were fast the whole race.

Tonio Liuzzi – car 15
It was a tough race and I drove every lap pushing so hard. The team deserved to get a good result after the hard work they have done this weekend and in the past weeks on the developments. We should ultimately have had more points than we got in the end, but it’s always OK to get another few points on board, particularly after the last race when they seemed so far away. Unfortunately we lost a big part of the race as the door was closed on me in the first corner by Felipe [Massa]. It was a race accident as Jenson was on the other side and there wasn’t anything I could do – I was on the inside and holding my line. We lost the front wing and had to change the strategy then and there, but in the end we still got some points. The team is pushing like hell and we want to confirm the progress we’ve made with more results. Today showed we’re strongly in the top 10 and – more importantly – we will never give up.

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal
Another double points finish for the team is a very positive result, but given our outstanding qualifying performance yesterday I think in my heart of hearts I would have hoped for more. Both drivers got caught in unfortunate accidents and dropped back but they drove excellently to salvage three points, which, given the circumstances of the race, is very good. We also picked up significant damage on both cars in the incidents and to still show that level of performance is very encouraging. What we have learnt this weekend is that we’ve got a very strong car that’s capable of fighting with the top four teams entirely on merit and we have two top line drivers who are functioning at their best. We’re really looking forward to Valencia now.


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