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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sutil finishes 9th, Resta 14th at European GP

Sutil finishes 9th, Resta 14th at European GP

June 26, 2011 21:12 IST

Adrian Sutil matched his second best performance of the season by finishing ninth in the European Grand Prix, earning two points for Force India, while Paul di Resta ended up outside the points bracket with 14th position, in Valencia on Sunday.

Sutil, who started 10th on the grid, had managed the same position in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as well.

His best performance of the season has been in Monaco GP last month.

Adrian Sutil of Force India drives during the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on SundayDi Resta, who started in P12, kept himself in points contention till lap number 47 in the 57-lap race but dropped back after the third and final pit stop. He has not scored now for the sixth consecutive race.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the race from pole position and was followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber, who started third on the grid.

India's Narain Karthikeyan, who drives for Hispania, was last in the 24th position after starting in the same position on the grid.

Both Sutil and Di Resta gained a place each in the opening lap itself by overtaking the two Renault drivers to make a strong start. Sutil overtook Nick Heidfield and Resta left behind Vitali Petrov.

Sutil and Heidfield, infact, had a very tight contest between them throughout the race. At times Heidfield was sandwiched between the two Force India cars with Sutil in the ninth place and Resta on 11th.

After the first pit stop in lap 13, Sutil rejoined the race in 14th position but he soon positioned himself to the eighth.

Di Resta sneaked into the top-10 in the latter part of the race but after the third pit stop he dropped back to 14th.

Sutil went to the pit lane before Di Resta but raced brilliantly to not only make his way back into the top-10 but also move up a place to ninth just behind Jaime Alguersuari of Toro Rosso.

Sutil put pressure on Alguersuari with fresh set of tyres but the Toro Rosso driver held on to his position, successfully implementing the two pit-stop strategy.

Sutil was "pleased" with his point-scoring effort and also praised Toro Rosso's Alguersuari for good race towards the end.

"I made a good start, jumping ahead of Heidfeld and was then able to keep up with Schumacher in the first stint. I pushed hard but there was no opportunity to get by him. In the middle of the race I had some clear track, good race pace and we were up to P8.

"After the final stop, I came out behind Alguersuari, who was doing a two-stop race. I tried all I could to overtake him, but the DRS zone did not make overtaking very easy and I had to settle for P9," Sutil said.

Di Resta rued that they decided against taking the first pit stop early which cost him precious time.

"I'm not sure that we got the strategy quite right today. There were a couple of laps in the first stint where my tyres had gone off and we didn't stop early enough. We made up for that during the second stop, when I jumped Heidfeld and Barrichello, but I lost out again at my final stop.

"It's tough when the tyres go off because it costs you around two and a half seconds per lap, which is a lot when the fight in the middle of the pack is so close."

Chairman and Team Principal Vijay Mallya was more or less satisfied with the result.

"The two points scored by Adrian are a welcome reward after a very strong weekend for us. The car has worked well from the start of practice and Adrian has not put a foot wrong.

"The only frustration is that we were unable to contain Alguersuari of Toro Rosso, who managed to jump ahead of Adrian with a two-stop strategy. Paul once again delivered a fighting drive, but was unlucky with the way the strategy unfolded."

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