The Monaco Grand Prix is always a bit of an unnerving race because of the lack of passing opportunities and the Armco barriers. It rewards patience but penalizes those not willing to take the risk when it’s presented. Nonetheless, Force India has managed a great 2012 effort in Monaco witha dual finish in the points.
It was the teams second dual-points finish of the year and came at a time when fans were wondering just where the Force India 2012 might start. Taking 7th and 8th place on Sunday’s race in the principality, Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg looked terrific pressing the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and anyone lucky enough to have their tires begin to wane on long runs. Like always in Monaco, strategy plays a huge role and Di Resta reminded all of us:
“A great result today and I’m very happy to make up so much ground on my starting position. We went aggressive with the strategy and I have to say the team really optimised it,” Di Resta said.
“The secret was managing the tyres and trying to find clean air when we could. The car felt really good, much stronger than yesterday, and that allowed me to push when we needed to.
“Fortunately the rain held off at the end because that could have had a big impact on the end of the race. It’s great that we managed to get both cars in the points and we can celebrate tonight,” he said.
For Hulkenberg’s part, the start was something less than desirable but he managed to make the most of the day saying:
“It was a pretty messy start with lots of cars touching and I was lucky to make it through because I had to avoid Grosjean, who was in the middle of the track,” Hulkenberg said.
“For the first few laps I was running with Michael [Schumacher] and we were stuck behind Kimi [Raikkonen] who was struggling on the supersofts, but it was difficult to get by. Unfortunately Kimi stopped on the same lap as me so I remained behind him and we came out in a lot of traffic, which is when Paul jumped ahead of me,” he said.
Nothing really matters until the boss is happy and Force India owner Vijay Mallya was in a happy mood.
“A very enjoyable Monaco Grand Prix and I am delighted to see both Sahara Force India’s well inside the points. Paul drove a very strong race, making up seven places on his grid position and managing the tyres perfectly,” Mallya said.
“Nico was running the reverse strategy to Paul, which also worked out well, and means we leave here with ten important points. Now we look forward to the next race in Canada where we hope to continue our run of points finishes,”.
Let’s hope Canada will continue to favor the Sahara Force India chassis but it’s not a circuit unlike Australia in its demands. force India fans, like Felipe Massa fans, are hoping that Monaco signals the beginning of a better effort and performance for 2012.