Paul di Resta put in an 'excellent drive' to finish in the points today at the F1 2011 Malaysian GP.
The Scot, who scored on his F1 debut in Australia two weeks ago, started 14th, but he made great progress through the race, battling with Nico Rosberg in his first stint and with the other Mercedes of Michael Schumacher in his second. Although he slipped behind the seven-time F1 world champion near the end, the 24-year-old still did enough to bring his Force India home in tenth and claim the final point.
“I am quite happy I must say. The team did a good job with the strategy. I just could not hold off Michael at the end, he had fresher tyres and we had to stop a bit earlier for my third stop than predicted. But I also did not want to risk the championship point as well,” di Resta noted.
“I think the DRS showed some good racing today, so maybe we can be confident that in China our race pace may even be a little bit better. We were battling with cars that were a little bit quicker than us today, so overall I think we had a great race.”
Team-mate Adrian Sutil meanwhile finished one place behind in eleventh, having lost ground early on following a coming together with Rubens Barrichello, which forced him to pit on lap 3 for a new nose.
“The first few laps were not brilliant as I lost my front wing touching Barrichello's rear tyre,” Sutil lamented. “Then we had a two-stop strategy, I went into the pits for the soft tyres, then another set of hard and another set of soft, and made them last well, which is positive.
“We could have been in for a much better finishing position, which is a shame. Overall it was a disappointing weekend for me, but the team did a great job with the pitstops so I'd like to thank them for that.”
“Once again, it was a satisfying race for Force India,” summarised team boss, Dr Vijay Mallya. “The boys did a great job with the pitstops in very difficult weather conditions and the team's strategies worked very well.
“Paul did an excellent job coming home in the points once again, while I believe that Adrian would also have finished in the top ten had it not been for the early nose change which altered his two-stop strategy.
“I am very proud of what the team has achieved here in Sepang this weekend and hope that we can carry this momentum, and great team spirit, with us to the race in China next week.”