Paul di Resta's run to eighth position in the Italian Grand Prix
has seen Force India
creep ahead of key rivals Sauber in the 2011 Formula 1 constructors' standings.
The Scot produced a fourth top ten finish of the season at Monza, the reigning DTM champion benefitting from an aggressive tyre strategy that helped him maintain a consistent pace throughout the race.
It is a potentially crucial result too, di Resta's performance enabling Force India
to move one point ahead of Sauber-Ferrari in the battle for sixth in the constructors' standings, though Scuderia Toro Rosso
have now also moved back into contention, just seven points adrift.
“Of course I'm really happy to finish eighth today after what hasn't been the easiest of races,” he said. “My launch was not great, but the guys around me didn't get away well either. Going into turn one I could see a Williams
coming towards me so I moved as far to the outside as possible, but there was no option but to bump across the chicane.
“After that we went aggressive with the tyre strategy and I think we extracted as much as we could because our ultimate lap time in race trim was not quite there today. So it's great to pick up four more points, which helps us move up a place in the championship.”
di Resta's fortune did not extend to team-mate Adrian Sutil, who missed out on the chance to close on the fight for a top ten in the drivers' standings due to a hydraulic problem.
“I made a good start, but I was in the middle of a lot of cars and I couldn't really gain any positions. Then the biggest problem was Liuzzi spinning and hitting the field at turn one. I was on the inside and I had to go into the gravel to avoid the crashed cars, which cost me a lot of time. Fortunately my car was fine with no damage so I was still able to continue.
“I was running on the medium tyre so things looked okay and I felt points could still be possible. A few laps later the power steering went so I knew I had a problem. I tried to downshift into turn three and I couldn't so I had to park the car. As we saw with Paul's result, we missed out on getting two car in the points today.”
di Resta is now 15th in the standings, ahead of fellow rookie Sergio Perez, while Sutil remains seven points off the overall top ten in 12th.