Force India's Adrian Sutil could hardly have been happier with sixth place in the final round of the F1 2011 season. The German translated eighth place in qualifying to a strong sixth in the Brazilian Grand Prix, a result that had positive implications for both him and the team.
Sutil's pace was impressive, allowing him not only to easily outpace his fellow midfielders, but also to catch and dispatch Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.
“I'm really happy about the result today. It completes a great weekend where everything went to plan. The team did a brilliant job to give me such a good car today. We also made the right calls with the strategy because we knew there was a chance to beat Mercedes, and that's exactly what we did,” he noted.
Sutil's strong drive around Interlagos helped confirm sixth place in the Constructors' Championship for Force India, as well as bolstering his final standing in the Drivers' Championship.
“I'm very happy with my sixth place – it's the best way to end the year and it also means that I move up to ninth place in the drivers' championship, which was my aim,” he added.
Rumours have been flying in the paddock that Sutil will be ousted from Force India in the coming weeks, potentially moving to Williams to replace Rubens Barrichello. Whatever his future may bring though, he will have done future employment prospects no harm with another fine performance.
Paul di Resta meanwhile finished eighth in the sister car and he also moved up the Drivers' standings himself, ending his rookie year in a solid thirteenth. The Briton was upbeat after a tough but rewarding ending to the season.
“My eighth place today is a great result after quite a tough race for me. There was a concern with the gearbox around half way through the race so the team told me to just try and bring the car home. In the final stint it was just a case of managing the gap to [Kamui] Kobayashi behind me and we had enough to do that quite easily in the end,” he said.
di Resta was able to reflect on a successful season and could bask in his and the team's achievements.
“So that's the end of my first season of F1 and it's been a great year, especially now we have finished sixth in the championship. It's well deserved for the entire team and I want to thank everyone for their help and support during this amazing year,” he concluded.
by Philip Barclay