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Force India to investigate wheelnut issue
26 March 2013
Team boss Vijay Mallya says Force India will investigate the wheel nut issues that saw Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil both forced to retire from the second round of the F1 season in Malaysia.
The duo lost time when they pitted together for the first time after an issue on Sutil's car, while di Resta was then delayed again when he pitted for a second time while fighting his way back up the order.
The end result was that both cars were retired for safety reasons, with Mallya promising that a full investigation into the cause of the problem would now take place.
“A very disappointing end to a weekend where we have shown tremendous pace with both our cars,” Mallya said. “We made it safely through the opening laps in the damp conditions and the track came to us as we switched to dry tyres with Paul being one of the fastest cars on the circuit. Unfortunately things went wrong in the pits when we experienced an issue with our captive wheel nut system at the first stop, which resulted in major delays for both cars.
“The issue occurred again at the second stop and it became apparent we would not be able to solve it during the race. As a precaution we were forced to retire both cars and will have a full investigation. It's frustrating, but sometimes these things happen in racing. We will take the positives of the strong car performance and look to put things right next time out in China.”
Both drivers were also left disappointed by the need to retire, with di Resta insisting it was doubly frustrating given the pace that had been shown on track.
“It's frustrating to come away with nothing given how competitive we have looked all weekend,” he said. “We saw an issue at Adrian's first pit stop when I was sat behind him, which cost me about 15 seconds, and then I had the same issue with the wheel nut at my second pit stop. As a precaution the team chose to retire the car.
“The good news is that we have the performance in the car, but this is definitely a missed opportunity because we had the potential to score a lot of points today. We will go away, take this on the chin, and come back fighting in China.”
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