Force India team boss Vijay Mallya insisted that the team was unlucky to miss out on points in the Italian Grand Prix after a troubled race day at Monza for both Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi.
Sutil had qualified in eleventh place for the race after missing out on a place in Q3 but contact on the opening lap saw him drop to the rear of the field – with the decision being taken to pit early and swap to the option tyre.
The German then set about making up places as others then made their stops but when he was forced to make an additional stop for a new nose later in the race which meant he took the flag down in 16th place.
“Obviously a very difficult race,” he said. “The first lap was not good when I was pushed wide into the gravel in one of the early corners and lost a lot of positions. By the end of lap one I was at the end of the field so we decided to come in to change to the harder tyres as a strategic move to make up positions when the others pitted.
“I did my own race from that point on, which worked really well but we couldn't get close to the points when I had to come in for the nosecone change. It's one of those races where you hope to do better but I'm not too disappointed as it's been a good season so far and there are still five races left.”
Team-mate Liuzzi had started down in 19th place following his issues in qualifying and battled through to twelfth at the finish, although he admitted that the problems on Saturday had cost him dear.
“It was definitely a nice race to drive but from 19th position it was always going to be difficult to score points, particularly as there weren't any safety cars,” he said. “We had some good fights and in the end we finished in twelfth position. We had a good car and I think we were quick enough to finish in the points today but when you are behind someone who is not that much slower than you it's quite difficult to get past.
“I was pushing hard to pass Buemi and Rubens but we were more or less at the same pace. Overall though we had a strong pace and it was a shame to just miss out on the points.”