Coming into the Hungarian Grand Prix, Force India
set their sights on recovering their momentum after a pointless German race to ensure that they continued to maintain their advantage over McLaren
heading into the August summer break.
But in the end not even the fact that they were celebrating Adrian Sutil's 100th Grand Prix start could lift the gloomy dark clouds hanging over their heads as they packed up in the scorching sun and blue skies, after both cars retired before the end of the race in Budapest.
"Just before my pit stop I had a problem with the gear shifts and I could not shift up any more," explained Sutil. "I came into the pits and it became clear we had a hydraulic problem so the team immediately told me to park the car."
"It's disappointing not to finish, especially as the race was coming back to me after a poor start on the medium tyres," he added, after hydraulic fluid leaking form the underside of the car had left the team with no option but to push the VJM06 back into the team garage and bring down the shutters on lap 19.
His team mate Paul di Resta lasted longer into the proceedings, but was always up against it after slumping to 18th position on the grid in a frustrating qualifying session on Saturday, and he revealed that the team still hadn't cracked the handling issues on the new Pirelli tyres that had plagued them all weekend.
“I made a good start and was very aggressive on the opening lap," said di Resta. "I think I was up to about P12, but from there on it was difficult because I was struggling with the balance and tyre performance.
"Without the speed we did not have the flexibility to make the strategy work and points were looking out of reach," he admitted, before revealing: "Towards the end of the race the team called me to the pits because it seems we had picked up a hydraulic issue, similar to the problem with the other car.
It's only the second time all season that both Force India
cars have been forced to retire in the same race - the first being at Malaysia where a wheel nut problem required the team to park both their drivers on safety grounds. The team also finished outside the points at the German Grand Prix
at the start of July.
"Over the summer break we will regroup, analyse things properly and take a fresh approach into the second part of the year," said di Resta.
“It's not been the easiest of weekends for us and it's disappointing to come away from Budapest without any points," admitted team principal Dr Vijay Mallya. "With the next race coming up in four weeks' time, we will analyse our performance and work hard to recapture our form in Spa.”