The Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team endured a frustrating weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, when both of their cars were forced out of the race, write Colin and James Beckett.
Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil, who was making his 100th Grand Prix start, were both casualties to mark a miserable race for the local team.
The fortunes of another local team were very different though, as Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory for the Brackley-based Mercedes team, although team-mate Nico Rosberg was another to retire.
Di Resta’s weekend started badly when he was eliminated in Q1 during qualifying. He said: “The tyres did just not work very well and I couldn’t get any grip from them. I don’t know why they were so bad but they were.”
Despite a solid start to the race, the young Scot was out of the running before he could make any significant inroads. The same hydraulic failure befell Adrian Sutil, with both cars parked-up well before the fall of the chequered flag.
Adrian Sutil said: “This was a difficult weekend for us. We had an issue that stopped both cars and we now need to look at that before the next race at Spa.”
Vijay Mallya, the Sahara Force India team principal, added: “We have to go to the workshop and look at what happened in Hungary.
“We need to analyse all the issues and make sure they don’t happen again at Spa. Traditionally we have a car that performs well at Spa and Monza so the next two races will be very important for us as we continue our push up the grid.”
Hamilton’s win keeps him in touch with World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who finished third in Hungary behind Kimi Raikkonen, and the Briton is confident he can pose a threat to the German.
He said: “I believe we now have a car capable of winning more races. At the start of the season we weren’t able to really work the car well on the tyres.
“I think we could surprise a few people before the end of the season.”
Points after round nine: 1. Vettel 172; 2. Raikkonen 134; 3. Alonso 133; 4. Hamilton 124; 5. Webber 105; 6. Rosberg 84; 7. Massa 61; 8. Grosjean 49; 9. Button 39; 10. Di Resta 36; 11. Sutil 23.
Next race: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps) August 25.