Force India pairing Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta moved their team 15 points clear of seventh-placed Sauber in the constructors' table after coming home eighth and ninth during the Abu Dhabi GP. The result all but seals sixth place in the constructors' battle.
Both Sutil and di Resta looked strong throughout the weekend, with the Silverstone-based team consistently looking the fifth best team behind the 'big four'.
This channelled into qualifying, with Sutil and di Resta lining up ninth and tenth, before Force India adopted a split strategy 'to cover all options' which saw di Resta on a one-stop strategy, with the Scot starting on the slower harder compound while team-mate Sutil went with the conventional two-stop strategy after starting the race on the preferred softer tyre.
The German enjoyed the better race of the two, giving Mercedes' Michael Schumacher a run for his money after spending half of the race ahead of his more illustrious compatriot.
“Today's result is great for the team and just what we needed," Sutil admitted, "Initially, we were planning to do a one-stop race, but the team took the decision to switch to a two-stop strategy because the soft tyre did not last as long as we thought it would. So it was a good call by the team to make the change.
"I spent a lot of the race fighting with Schumacher and managed to get ahead of him for the middle stint. But I probably went one lap too long in the middle stint and he got ahead of me when we were both on the medium tyre at the end of the race. I was close behind him, but we had similar pace and I couldn't get back ahead.
"Still, we came here to pick up points with both cars, and that's what we've done. It puts us in a very strong position for the final race.”
di Resta's route to the chequered flag offered a different complexion which meant the young Scot effectively ran his race back to front after starting on the harder tyre in the hope he would reap the rewards towards the end. However, in hindsight, the rookie admitted one-stopping wasn't the correct route after the strategy didn't allow him to optimise the potential of his package for the duration of time he needed to.
“I think, as a team, we can be pleased to have come away with a double points finish, having run different strategies with both cars [but], wWith hindsight, my one-stop race was not the optimum strategy," the Scot confirmed, "We felt it was worth a try [but], as it turned out, the performance of the medium was not great to begin with, so the first 30 laps were quite hard work.