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MOTORSPORT: The Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team celebrated the first running of the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi with a ninth place finish scored by Adrian Sutil, writes James Beckett.

Force India’s team principal, Vijay Mallya, was delighted with the performance of his team in their first ‘home’ Grand Prix and said: “The whole of India has been able to celebrate this event.

“The arrival of Formula 1 in India has been huge, and for our team to finish in the points is great for everyone.”

Sutil and his team-mate Paul di Resta both looked strong throughout the race build-up, with Sutil managing to keep his car in a point-scoring position, while di Resta slipped down to 13th at the chequered flag. Sutil commented afterwards: “This was a good result for me and the team. We all very much enjoyed being in India for this first Grand Prix and everyone looks forward to coming back here next year.”

Di Resta said: “This weekend was very memorable. Everything about it was fantastic – except my result. I really wanted to finish in the top 10 and reward the team for all of their efforts.

“I am really looking ahead to the final races in Abu Dhabi and Brazil to score more points and finish my first F1 season on a high.”

The Brackley-based Petronas Mercedes GP cars finished fifth and sixth, Michael Schumacher leading home his team-mate Nico Rosberg. The duo ran just behind the leading cars for the entire race, and looked strong at a track that was hosting a race weekend for the very first time. Schumacher said: “This is a good track and it provided good racing.

“I am looking forward to coming back as the experience from this weekend has been very positive.”

Jaime Alguersuari also bagged points for Toro Rosso in a car that has been developed in their Bicester factory.

The Spaniard drove his Red Bull-supported car to eighth place, giving the small squad another boost in the World Championship standings.

The race was won by Sebastian Vettel. The 2011 world champion dominated from start to finish, heading home Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

Points after round 17: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 374; 2. Jenson Button (McLaren) 240; 3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 227; 4. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 221; 5. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 202; 6. Felipe Massa(Ferrari) 98.

Next race – Abu Dhabi, Sunday November 13.