F1 »

Force India score welcome points at Spa

Adrian Sutil was a lock for points for much of the Belgian GP, but Force India received a welcome bonus when Tonio Liuzzi was promoted to join the German.
Despite heading to Spa-Francorchamps with the words of team owner Vijay Mallya warning against a repeat of last year's pole and second place finish, Force India left the Belgian Grand Prix with both drivers in the points, and the VJM03's reputation for straight-line speed enhanced.

Adrian Sutil finished a scintillating race in fifth position, his first point-scoring result since the British Grand Prix and his best result of the season since the Malaysia, while Tonio Liuzzi came home in a battling eleventh and was rewarded with a point when Jaime Alguersuari was penalised for cutting the chicane. The result moves Force India 18 points clear of Williams, who failed to score, in the constructors' championship, and cements Sutil into ninth position in the drivers' standings.

When rain fell just two laps into the race, Sutil steered stayed clear of the ensuing chaos and remained out on dry tyres despite a safety car period prompting others, notably Fernando Alonso scurrying for wets. On the restart, the German was able to jump ahead of the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg into seventh and, when Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button collided, was elevated to fifth.

He pitted for the harder slick tyres on lap 21, but was still able to cruise past Kamui Kobayashi - and then blew away seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher to regain fifth despite both drivers using the same Mercedes engine.

On lap 35 of 44, heavy rain started to fall and, this time, Sutil pitted for intermediate tyres. When Alonso spun on lap 38, another safety car period was called, allowing the German to move closer to the leaders and, although he was unable to gain any further positions, he finished just nine seconds behind close friend, and eventual winner, Lewis Hamilton.

"Another fifth place, so I am very pleased as I started in P8," the German reflected, "I think that was the best we could do, as it was very tricky conditions out there and you never knew what would happen with the weather.

"When the rain came, it was sometimes light in places and heavy in others and I had to really concentrate to drive it home safely. Of course, I was racing closely, so I had to keep pushing, particularly after the safety car periods when the field bunched up, so we had some great racing and overtaking. The upgrades worked well and we can still improve - it was just the start of the development, which looks good for the next race in Monza as well."

The Italian Grand Prix, of course, will be Liuzzi's home race, and the under-fire driver received a welcome change of fortune when he was awarded tenth place after the race. The point, albeit solitary, was reward for a battling drive that saw him fending off both Alonso and Vettel, but also saw him the unwitting victim of the German's aggression, losing his front wing at the Bus Stop chicane as Vettel chopped in front of him. Without the ensuing pit-stop, Liuzzi would almost certainly have earned more points, having been restricted to eleventh in a late battle with Alguersuari.

The stewards, however, decided that, in the heat of battle, the Spaniard had cut the chicane and not yielded his position, and added 20secs to his race time, promoting Liuzzi into tenth spot.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM03 and Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
Race, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Force India F1 Team, VJM03 and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Saturday Practice, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 fans

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Manxie - Unregistered

August 30, 2010 2:07 PM

Well done FI, fantastic race for you guys! I was impressed by their straightline speed, wow, put Ferrari to shame at some stage, not to mention Merc. Hopefully FI can carry this kind of performance through to the final 6 races...



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.