The Force India F1 Team secured its first double points finish of the season in todayâ€™s Monaco Grand Prix, with Adrian Sutil finishing the incident-filled 78 lap race in ninth position and Tonio Liuzzi under a second behind in tenth. The result represents the teamâ€™s best overall result since its F1 debut in 2008 and brings the 2010 season total so far to 27 points.
We had a good feeling about Force India heading in to this weekend and while Sutil has proven to be handy at the principality, we were concerned for Liuzzi’s spotty performance of late. That concern was put to bed as the team, and even Liuzzi himself, seems to have been happy with the car at Monaco.
When interviewed on American TV by Speed TV’s Will Buxton, the Italian stated he felt better about the car and that they had found a setup that suited his style more. That’s important when the boss is starting to omit any mention of you in the post-race press releases. Never fear, Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal, saw fit to mention both drivers this weekend:
I am delighted with todayâ€™s results. At the start of the season we said we wanted to be regular pointsâ€™ finishers and to date thatâ€™s exactly what we have done, but to do so with two cars is a real step up. Adrian and Tonio drove brilliant races, keeping focussed despite the numerous safety car periods and yellow flags, and really deserved to get in the points. Itâ€™s very pleasing to see us keeping pace yet again with the larger teams on merit and we can now take this result away with us, build on it and come back even stronger in Turkey.
Sutil had an uneventful race while in 9th but made most of the ground on the start and pit stop:
It was a very good race for us here today. I was P12 on the grid but we had a really great start and I made up two positions on the first lap. We then had a good first stop where I gained a position to be P9 and then I could just do my own race. I had quite a lonely race with a big gap most of the time to the car in front and then the car behind so I was just pacing myself for a lot of the race. I had a very good balance at the end when the grip picked up so I am pretty happy with everything today: ninth position and a few points, we can be quite satisfied with this after the qualifying yesterday.
From Liuzzi’s stand point, he felt the pressure of a hobbled race with multiple safety car periods and pressure from Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi:
It was quite a difficult race with a lot of incidents and safety car periods to deal with, but I like these type of conditions. We were P9 after the start but I think we stopped a couple of laps too early for our tyre change, which just allowed Adrian to pass us when he came in. But as a team we can be very satisfied as we got both cars in the top ten and in the points, which is good for the overall morale of the team. We have really deserved this type of result but for various reasons this is the first time it’s happened. It’s really just the start – we have to try and carry this forward for the rest of the season. We are doing a good job back at the factory and from this point on the circuits should come towards us so we can be positive about the future.
If you’re a Force India fan, then this weekend ended with a good result with a double points haul. The team needed this result to keep them in touch with the mid-field and perhaps it is something to grow upon heading in to Turkey.
I exchanged email with Force India’s Press agent just prior to the race and she informed me that there were Monaco-specific modifications for this weekend but there were also upgrades for the remainder of the season installed as well. It seems these have worked well when combined with the Monaco settings and hopefully will translate to better performance for the rest of the circuits as well.