Force India driver Adrian Sutil believes that his team has pulled out a comfortable buffer over rivals Sauber in the fight for sixth place in the constructors’ championship.
Force India had been coming under increasing pressure from their Swiss rivals but outscored them by six points at the Indian Grand Prix.
“Eighth and ninth position was almost the maximum we could achieve,” he said.
“Six points as a team, now 23 points ahead of Sauber, which is quite a good gap. It’s not over yet, we have to push on, but I think quite comfortable. It’s very important for us to save this sixth position in the championship, looking to next year of course, as a team.”
“But I think [it's] nice to have recovered a bit. Now we focus on what we have and try to optimise the package and do similar results in the next couple of races.”
Sutil also agrees that the change to the tyre compound hurt Force India but does not believe that it accounts for their struggled since the middle of the season.
“It’s one reason,” he said. We were a bit slower after that change but also we decided to stop the development very early in the season, so we had no parts on the car for the last six months or so. It’s quite a long time. I think it just hit us: from the tyre; from the development. Also the strategies in the race were more equal for everyone.”
“Normally we were able to save one pitstop just because our tyre life was much better to others. After the tyre change that was different. But also we messed up a little bit the setup in the last races. We tried to somehow go back where we were but with a package where we just couldn’t make it. We tried different setups and it almost just slowed us down even more.”
“We got problems, we made mistakes as the driver because the car was so difficult to drive. So, in India was said “we stop it, we take what we’ve got,” and that was the key for the points”