Torrential rain showers were the story of the day at the Canadian Grand Prix, and Force India
drivers Adrian Sutil
and Paul di Resta were forced to accept that they both missed the opportunity to add to their respective points tallies as the conditions claimed them among its victims.
Starting behind the pace car, the race ran well short of half distance before the red flag was shown, as the persistent downpour eventually proved too much for the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. A two-hour interruption then ensued before racing could resume but, despite racing hard, neither Sutil or rookie di Resta were unable to convert strong strategies into points finishes.
“That was a very long and eventful afternoon of racing where we didn't realise our potential," chairman and team principal Vijay Mallya confirmed, "We had a very quick car and both drivers were competitive, but the circumstances of the race did not go our way. Both drivers picked up damage to their front wings, without which I'm confident we could have come away with a double-points finish because the strategic calls from the pit-wall were very good today."
While Mallya insisted that the team would go away and analyse its approach to the race so that it could 'come back stronger in Valencia' in two weeks' time, di Resta, in particular, was left to rue an error that he believes cost a strong points finish.
"The weather conditions were very bad today and, given the intensity of the rain, it was absolutely the right decision to stop the race," he said of the red flag period, "There were a lot of rivers running across the track and they were catching people out, even under safety car conditions
"After the restart, I think things were going well until I lost my front wing against Nick [Heidfeld] at the chicane, when he cut across me. That gave me a drive-through penalty, which I was quite surprised to receive because [the incident] only really compromised me but, after that, I was coming back through the field and pushing to pass Rubens [Barrichello] in the final few laps.
"Unfortunately, I pushed a bit too hard and clipped the wall, which gave me a puncture. That's why I had to park the car. It's a shame because we had a strong car today and we could have come away with some important points.”
Sutil had already retired his VJM04 by the time his team-mate parked up, another victim of the unpredictable conditions.
“At the start of the race, I had problems with the full wets so I switched to the intermediates quite early on, [and that was] good for a few laps until the rain got too heavy," the German reported, "At the restart, I was doing quite well until I got too close to [Nico] Rosberg when the safety car was out. All the cars ahead of me slowed down a lot at the hairpin and I just got caught out, which damaged my front wing, but the car still felt okay and I didn't lose too much time."
Like di Resta, Sutil was punished for his indiscretion and, determined to make up for it, perhaps took one risk too many.
"After the drive-through penalty, I decided it was worth the risk of switching to dry tyres, but it was maybe a few laps too early," he conceded, "I had quite a big snap on my out lap and touched the wall, which broke the left rear suspension.”
Although di Resta was eventually classified 18th, the results gave Force India's rivals the chance to leap-frog them in the constructors' standings, with Toro Rosso
taking full advantage of a double points finish from Jaime Alguersuari
and Sebastien Buemi
to move into seventh overall.