Scot Paul di Resta endured what he described as a "testing" Japanese GP in Suzuka, where he finished 12th for Force India
while his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg
was more successful in securing points for the team with a seventh place finish.
“Quite a testing race for me," di Resta explained. "Things started to go wrong on the parade lap when I had a clutch issue, so it was not a big surprise when I made a poor getaway of the line.
“Going into turn 1 I was almost at the back of the field, so I was able to stay out of trouble and avoid the accidents ahead of me," he added. "But when you lose so much ground at the front, it's difficult to recover.
“I was always in traffic, and without running in clean air, I couldn't really show the potential of the car," he continued. "We were not too far away with the set-up, but I never really found the sweet spot during the race.
Bob Fernley, the deputy team principal of the team, said the team would look into di Resta's problems to ensure there was no recurrence.
“Paul's race was seriously compromised by a poor getaway, which we will investigate, and that meant we missed out on getting both cars in the points," he said.
While di Resta was not able to show the Force India's true potential during the race, his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg
did by driving up from 15th place on the grid to chase Lewis Hamilton
and Kimi Raikkonen
to the chequered flag, and holding off Pastor Maldonado
in the Williams
in order to pick up 6pts.
“If you had told me before the race that we would finish seventh, I would have taken it straight away – so I'm very happy with today's result,” the German said. “I made a great start, moving ahead of several cars and was able to keep out of trouble in turn 1.
“By the end of lap 1, I was already in 8th and as it turned out we had good pace. The car felt strong throughout the race: there was a nice balance and I was able to chase Lewis and Kimi hard and put pressure on them,” he said.