Adrian Sutil notched up another points finish for Force India in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix and just like at Spa, the Silverstone-based outfit was battling with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

Indeed there was little to separate the two throughout the 53-lap race and in the end Sutil finished just 0.5 seconds adrift, mirroring what happened at the Belgian Grand Prix, when it was Giancarlo Fisichella, who has now defected to the Scuderia, hounding the 'ice-man' for P1.

While he had to settle for fourth though, Sutil was not disappointed and all-in-all he enjoyed a top weekend, putting his VJM02 on the front row in qualifying - and only just missing out on pole - and then notching up his best finish to date at the pinnacle of the sport.

To compound his success he also posted the fastest lap of the race, which was very much the icing on the cake for the 26-year-old.

"It was a great race and the car was performing really well. At the start we knew it would be really difficult to defend our position against Kimi and his KERS button and then I was stuck behind him the whole race," said Sutil. "I was really quick but I just couldn't find a way past him as the KERS had such a big effect on the circuit.

"Going into my second stop we had a chance to overtake him in the pit lane and I was pushing really hard but I was a bit late on the brakes into the box. I think I have to say sorry to the mechanics for going a bit wide! But still they did a great job there.

"The race pace overall was very good but finally the one-stop strategy worked better than the two stop. All the same we scored a lot of points and I am really, really happy for myself and all of the team at the track and back in the factory and wind tunnel."

The result was Sutil's first points finish since he broke his duck with eighth at the Japanese Grand Prix back in 2007, and Force India's chairman and team boss, Dr Vijay Mallya was delighted with way the German performed.

Mallya also added that his team should be able to maintain the momentum in two weeks time, when the F1 circus heads to Singapore, for round 14 in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship.

"It's been another great weekend for Force India. We thought the podium would be a dream here going into the weekend and at the end of the race we were less than half a second away. Adrian drove a fantastic race and richly deserved those points," Mallya added. "We can go to Singapore on a real high now.

"We know the car is good and with more to come development-wise for this race we can be very confident of continuing this form."


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