Force India pair Tonio LIuzzi and Adrian Sutil endured mixed emotions for the second straight race in Australia, with Liuzzi scoring for the second straight race but Sutil running into problems.
Liuzzi pitted early for dry tyres having started the race on intermediates and was able to remain on the slick rubber through the finish. With some of the midfield runners ahead of him gambling on a second stop, Liuzzi moved up to eighth place and when Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton clashed, the Italian was able to make up a further place to take the flag in seventh.
“Another great race and another great result for the team,” he said. “It's a confirmation of the pace we showed in Bahrain and the work the team did over the winter. We worked hard all weekend for this seventh place and it's a brilliant result at the end of what was a crazy race.
“At the beginning of the race on the intermediate tyres we were struggling a little and lost a few positions but after I pitted for the dry tyres I was able to recover and stay on the race pace. Towards the end of the race the rear tyres were going off a lot as I had been on them for a long time, but it was just enough to hold onto the position. I think it was another perfect weekend and now we can look forward to Malaysia.”
Sutil however endured another tough weekend, having seen his hopes of scoring in the season-opener in Bahrain ended by contact with Robert Kubica on the opening lap.
This time around, Sutil suffered from an engine issue that saw him lose power, and with the team unable to fix the problem, he was left with no option but to retire.
“We seemed to have a problem with the engine very early on in the race,” he said. “I was driving on just four cylinders and then lost the power and that was it really. It was a shame as we were looking good after the start. The team looked to try and get me out again after I came into the garage as we were in such a good position and I was the quickest car on the circuit at one stage. We missed out on a big chance here today but what can you do.
“It's good news for the team that Tonio got some more points and I'll be looking to bring my points on board at the next race.”