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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mixed day for Force India at Aus GP

Mixed day for Force India at Aus GP

March 18, 2012 17:53 IST

Paul di Resta finished the Australian Grand Prix in the 10th position as Sahara Force India opened the season with one point, although it was a disappointing start for rookie Nico Hulkenberg, whose race lasted less than a lap, in Melbourne on Sunday.

Hulkenberg, who had a good ninth position on the grid, was hit from the back in the opening lap, which damaged his suspension and led to early retirement.

Paul di RestaDi Resta, who started 15th, gained five places to finish in top-10 and start the season with a point.

"It's always nice to start the season with a point, but it was not looking too promising until the last few laps when my engineer told me that I was catching the cars ahead of me. Fortunately, I had saved quite a bit of KERS for the last corner, which helped me get a good run on Vergne and beat him to the line for tenth. So it was a pretty exciting final lap," the Scot said.

Di Resta was worried over the pace of the car.

"It's a good way to start the season, but it's clear we have a lot of work to do because we were struggling for pace at the start of each stint, which hurt my overall race pace," he said.

Hulkenberg said he was unlucky to miss out.

"I'm still not really sure what happened, but I got hit when I turned into the first corner on lap one.  It's such a shame because I had made a great start, moved up a couple of positions and then I just felt somebody tap me from behind. There was a puncture and the suspension was damaged. So my race was over and I had to park up," the German said.

McLaren's Jenson Button won the race from second position and his teammate Lewis Hamilton, who started from pole finished third.

Defending champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, who started sixth on the grid, had to be content with the second position.

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