5 July 2013
German Grand Prix: Force India ready to build on momentum
Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil head to the Nurburgring determined to extend their recent scoring run.
Force India drivers Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil head to this weekend's German Grand Prix on the back of three double points finishes and looking to extend the team's advantage over McLaren in the battle for fifth position overall.
While team principal Vijay Mallya concedes that the current 22-point gap between the two operations could be overturned at a stroke, his drivers are focused on maintaining a recent run of form that saw both VJM06 cars finish inside the top ten in Monaco, Canada and Britain.
di Resta's home race promised a lot after he put himself fifth on the grid, but his recent qualifying jinx continued when his car weighed in 1.5kg lighter than it should have in post-session checks. Despite being put to the back of the grid, the Scot again came through the field – as he had after failing to progress beyond Q1 in the previous two rounds – to finish ninth.
“The important thing is that we came away with more points, which is always positive,” he reflected, “It was a good recovery given where we started and keeps up our momentum in the championship as it's my seventh points finish of the season. You always think about how things might have been different, but we've come away feeling relatively satisfied with the outcome.”
Sutil heads to his home race on the back of three straight points finishes, a record in stark contrast to the early part of the season, where the German appeared to be a magnet for first lap incidents.
“It is good to reap the rewards of the good work we have been doing all season,” he noted, “It was a bit frustrating at the start of the year when we had very good pace and something always seemed to happen to me, but now we have been gaining points more consistently.
“Seventh [at Silverstone] is a good result and we can be happy with it, even though it is disappointing to go from third to seventh so close to the end of the race. Unfortunately, my rivals had a big advantage with fresher tyres and were able to overtake me quite easily in the final laps, but I'll take the points.”
While Sutil heads home hoping to enjoy a similar weekend to that experienced by his team-mate last time out, neither driver has a great deal of F1 experience at the Nurburgring. With the circuit alternating as host of the German GP with Hockenheim in recent years, di Resta has only raced an F1 car there once, with Sutil notching up three grands prix at the 'Ring in his time in the top flight.
Both drivers have greater knowledge of the venue from other series, with di Resta having competed there regularly in F3 and the DTM and Sutil doing likewise in his formative years.
“I know the place well from my DTM days, although we always used to race on the shorter version,” the Scot pointed out, “I've only raced at the Nurburgring once in F1, and I got hit going into the first corner, so it would be good to put things right this weekend.
“It's a very different track and not so demanding on the tyres compared to Silverstone. The weather is always a factor there because of the location and I wouldn't be surprised to see some rain at some point. The track is a mix of everything, but it's important to have good mechanical grip to perform well in the slower sections at the start and end of the lap.
“We should be competitive and, if we can maximise all three days, we will be in good shape.”
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