August 25th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Force India have reason to feel they should have had both cars in the points at Spa tody. However, it was not to be as Paul Di Resta's race was cut short by a collision with Pastor Maldonado on lap 27. Adrian Sutil finished ninth after starting 12th on the grid, and earned two points for Force India as a result.
Di Resta qualified fifth in a tense and thrilling qualifying session yesterday. From there, it went a bit wrong in the race. Di Resta explained, "I got a lot of wheel-spin at the start of the race and was down in about tenth place going into turn one, but during the first lap I managed to recover to seventh.
"After the second pit stop I was racing closely with Adrian and there was a train of four cars battling as we went into the final chicane. Pastor [Maldonado] went in deep and missed the apex so I tried to get the cut-back and was going around the outside of him. He then decided to try and enter the pit lane, which was impossible given his track position. As a result he hit me, which took the rear corner off my car. It’s a real shame because the speed was quite strong today and I think there was definitely a point or two up for grabs.”
Maldonado received a 10-second stop-go penalty for the collision with Di Resta, but there was no repairing the Force India's broken rear suspension and Di Resta's race was over.
Sutil was also caught up in the incident with Maldonado. He took advantage of Maldonado going deep into the first part of the chicane and passed him around the outside, but clipped and damaged the front wing of the Williams on the way through. The damage presumably caused Maldonado to try to pit which resulted in the crash with Di Resta.
Aside from the incident, Sutil's race proceeded fairly smoothly despite also making a poor start. He explained:
“An interesting and exciting race, and it’s good to come away with two points. At the start I didn’t make the best getaway and lost a few places, but after that I settled into the race and was able to get ahead of a few cars and move into the top ten. I always enjoy driving here at Spa and I had some exciting overtaking moves today, which felt very nice. The two-stop strategy was the best way to go and it worked out well because I think we achieved the maximum that was available to us.
Sutil also confirmed that Force India are very much aware that they are fighting McLaren in the Constructors' Championship:"We are still in a close fight with McLaren so it was important to get back in the points today after a couple of tough races.”