US GP: Sutil crashes, Di Resta in 15th as Force India return pointless
Sahara Force India returned pointless in the penultimate Formula One race of the season as Adrian Sutil crashed out in the first lap itself while teammate Paul di Resta finished at the 15th position at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Sutil's car was involved in an accident with that of Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of the Williams on lap one and that brought out the safety car until the fifth lap. Both the drivers came out unhurt but Sutil's car was wrecked after hitting the barriers.
Di Resta started on 11th at the grid and was involved in a midfield fight for the 10th and last point spot but could only end the race at 15th at the Circuit of The Americas.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel of Germany, who has already been crowned the world champion, won the race.
With just one race to go at Sao Paulo in Brazil next weekend, Di Resta stands at 10th position with 48 points in the drivers' standings while Sutil occupies 13th spot with 29 points.
In the constructors' table, Sahara Force India stands at sixth with 77 points.
A disappointed Sutil blamed Maldonado for the collision.
"I made a good start, gained a few positions and was racing ahead of Maldonado on back straight. For some reason he hit my left rear wheel and I immediately lost control of the car and crashed into the barriers. I don't really understand why he was so close to me because the track is so wide there. I stayed on my line and there was a lot of space to the right and the left," he said.
"It feels like I ran out of luck this weekend. Up until Saturday morning I was looking competitive and was happy with the car, but all of that promise disappeared with the problems we had in qualifying. So it was an early finish and a very disappointing day," said the German.
Image: Adrian Sutil of Germany and Force India crashes out during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images
'I ran out of tyre performance with nine laps to go'
Di Resta was also disappointed not to have gotten a point but said the team would look to end the season with a point in the final race in Brazil.
"I made a good start and was in reasonable shape for the first stint. But it soon became clear that we were struggling for pace and not really in the zone with the tyres. We were pushing to do a one-stop race, but the tyre wear was a bit higher than expected and I ran out of tyre performance with nine laps to go. It was hard to defend my position so I had to make a second pit stop," he said.
"It's a shame because we were quite optimistic before the race and we thought the warmer weather might play into our hands. So it’s a bit disappointing, but we will pick ourselves up and look to end the season with a better result in Brazil next weekend."
Team Principal and Managing Director Vijay Mallya said he was looking for points by having just one pit-stop but that did not materialise.
"Our chances took a big hit on lap one with the accident for Adrian, which was a result of the contact with Maldonado. That put all our hopes onto Paul and we were looking to repeat the strategy we pulled off in Abu Dhabi by stopping only once," he said.
"For a while we thought it was possible, but we could not achieve the tyre management we needed and had to pull him in for a late second stop. It was always going to be tough to score points today, but I’m optimistic that Interlagos next week will work more in our favour."
Image: Paul di Resta of Great Britain and Force India drives during the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sunday
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images