Both Sahara Force India drivers, Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil, scored points in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, writes James Beckett.
Young Scotsman di Resta drove a fine race to finish seventh having started 17th, while Sutil was 10th for the Silverstone team, who were celebrating their 100th Grand Prix race at Montreal.
Robert Fearnley, the team’s deputy team principal, said: “It’s great to see both our cars in the points at our 100th Grand Prix. It brings our tally to 51 points this year and strengthens our fifth position in the championship.
“Paul showed his fighting spirit with a remarkable drive to seventh with just one stop. The car had great pace and he looked after his medium compound tyres extremely well. I don’t think anybody thought there were 56 laps in those tyres but he pulled it out of the bag.
“Adrian’s afternoon was rather more eventful. Overall I think we should be pleased with the outcome after a challenging weekend. The car remains competitive and we can hopefully carry our form into our local race at Silverstone at the end of the month.”
Paul di Resta suffered problems during qualifying and lined-up 17th on the grid, but a good drive from the 27-year-old saw him eventually finish seventh, putting him on 34 points for the 2013 World Championship.
He said afterwards: “To finish the race in seventh having started 17th is a great result and a top job by the team.
“I didn’t manage to get any long run data on Friday so it feels extra sweet to make this one-stop strategy work with a very long stint on the medium compound tyres.”
After his 10th place finish, Adrian Sutil said: “That race was quite an adventure so it’s good to come away with a point given everything that happened.
“I had a spin when I tried to overtake Bottas which cost me quite a few positions and I was lucky nobody hit me when I was in the middle of the track.
“I dropped back and the pack was bunched together, which is when Maldonado ran into the back of me and damaged my rear wing.
“I was running in eighth until the drive-through penalty and I don’t think it was a fair penalty because I too had to lap so many cars today. It sometimes took one or two laps, and that’s normal for this circuit.
“The penalty cost me two positions and three points but at least I scored a point and I can now look forward to Silverstone.”
The Brackley-based Mercedes Petronas F1 team, meanwhile, saw their driver Lewis Hamilton finish the race in third position – his third podium of the season.
The British racer said: “The car performed quite well today and although in these conditions we are not on the pace of Red Bull or Ferrari, we feel we are making good progress.”
Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, winner at Monaco last month, added: “Fifth was the best I could do today. I tried to make the tyres work to the best of their ability and I think overall it was a solid weekend.
“It was good for Lewis to finish on the podium and we are looking forward to returning to race in Europe for the next couple of months or so.”
Sebastian Vettel extended his lead at the head of the FIA F1 World Championship by dominating the race for the Red Bull team. Fernando Alonso finished in second position for Ferrari.
Points after Round seven: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 132; 2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 96; 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 88; 4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 77; 5. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 69; 6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 57. Next race: Silverstone, June 30.