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Force India rue missed opportunity

Mar 24, 2013, 8:30 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1-QUALIFYING Getty Images

Force India drivers Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil were both left ruing retirements after having good pace in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Both drivers were lapping very quickly on the drying track, with di Resta posting the fastest lap at one point, and the team looked set for a strong double score until problems in the pits dropped the cars down the order. Eventually, the team opted to retire both cars, although Adrian Sutil admitted that he was still unsure what the problem was.

“We’re not sure exactly what happened yet so the team stopped the cars to make sure we understand the issue.

“It’s a shame that this happened here because we had a very quick car today and I felt very comfortable as the track dried out. We have to stay positive, keep our heads up and remember that there are plenty of races left where we can make up for the disappointment of today.”

Sutil had qualified in eighth for the race, ahead of Paul di Resta who had been caught out by the rain in Q2 on Saturday. The British driver had made good headway during the race, and he was similarly disappointed to not have finished.

“It’s frustrating to come away with nothing given how competitive we have looked all weekend.

“We saw an issue at Adrian’s first pit stop when I was sat behind him, which cost me about 15 seconds, and then I had the same issue with the wheel nut at my second pit stop. As a precaution the team chose to retire the car.”

di Resta did however take the positives from the race weekend, and he is now relishing the next race in China in three weeks’ time.

“The good news is that we have the performance in the car, but this is definitely a missed opportunity because we had the potential to score a lot of points today. We will go away, take this on the chin, and come back fighting in China.”

Force India have certainly shown strong pace at the beginning of the season, and their haul of ten points still places them fifth in the constructors ahead of McLaren, Sauber and Toro Rosso.

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