Force India was left to rue its first double DNF of the 2010 F1 at Suzuka after a weekend where rivals Williams closed the gap in the race for sixth in the constructors' championship.
Tonio Liuzzi saw his race come to an early end when he was harpooned by an out-of-control Felipe Massa on the run into turn one while things didn't go much better for team-mate Adrian Sutil – who had battled up to tenth place before an oil leak forced into the retirement.
With Rubens Barrichello scoring two points for Williams after taking the flag in ninth place, the gap between the two teams is now down to just two points with Force India seeking to bounce back in Korea now that the event is certain to go ahead.
“Obviously we are very disappointed with today's outcome,” deputy team principal Robert Fernley said. “Our qualifying performance wasn't as we hoped and the double DNF is a bitter blow, particularly when we are fighting for championship position. It's clearly something we need to look into when we get back to the factory next week so we can make the most of the opportunities that come our way.
“We will come back stronger in Korea for sure and look to regain our step in the constructors' title race.”
A third failure to score in five races also means Sutil has dropped behind Michael Schumacher to tenth in the drivers championship but he agreed with Fernley that the team needs to forget Japan and instead look to the future.
“It was a real shame today,” he said. “In qualifying we really struggled with the softer tyres and couldn't get as good a result as we would have liked but I made a fantastic start off the line and was already in the top ten by the end of the first lap. We came in quite early so I could push when everyone else pitted and I was in for a good shot of the points. Then coming up to the end of the race I went into the 130R corner and the tyres started to slide around and smoke started to come out the back of the car.
“I felt the car let go and then that was it: I had to bring it into the pits. At the time we didn't know what was wrong, but when I stopped we could see oil coming out of the car. A disappointing end to a hard day, but let's focus on Korea now.”