Force India left Suzuka feeling hard done by after the Safety Car seemed to compromise the team's strategy, costing Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta who finished outside the points.
The team were already facing an uphill struggle to score points with tyre degradation dictating what strategy the team could run, but after a strong start Di Resta and Sutil both displayed some encouraging pace.
Due to tyre degradation Force India had to opt for an aggressive three stop strategy to stand any chance of scoring points. However, the safety car triggered by Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton's debris impairing the racing line going into the final chicane spoilt Force India's progress in a period where they had to get the hammer down whilst they had track position, bringing the two stopping cars back into contention.
From that point onwards, with both cars out of sync in relation to the others, defending their position's proved almost impossible on the medium tyre, while the two stopping cars could enjoy the grip of the softer option tyre.
“To be honest I feel we were unlucky to miss out on points today," Sutil said. "After the first few laps I was ahead of the Renaults and we had good pace.
"I think what really hurt my race was the safety car because I made my second stop the lap before it came out and lost track position."
“I made an awesome start to the race, going to the outside and jumping up four places – ahead of both the Renaults and Kobayashi," added Di Resta.
"I settled into a good rhythm but the safety car spoilt our strategy because that was our fastest part of the race and it was important to try and pull a gap. It helped the cars making two stops because they caught us in the final laps and it was very hard to defend."
Force India deputy team principal, Robert Fernley also mirrored the driver's disappointment but remains positive for the final four races.
"So we leave Suzuka a little disappointed, but we will focus on the positives and look to realise our potential in Korea," he said.
by Simon Evans