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Force India returns empty-handed from Chinese GP

April 18, 2010 17:13 IST

Force India's point-scoring streak came to an abrupt end in a chaotic Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday with Adrian Sutil finishing 11th while his team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi retired after an opening lap brake problem.

On a day when changeable rainy conditions created a lottery for tyres and position, only 17 drivers brought home the car, the last being Hispania's Karun Chandhok.

"It is disappointing to see our run of points end and not to have been able to make more of these conditions, but that's sometimes what happens in this type of conditions," Force India chairman Vijay Mallya said after the race.

"We've got some work to do now that Renault has opened up a sizeable advantage but we have some developments in the pipeline and the season has a long way to run. We'll regroup and come back strongly in Spain I'm sure," said Mallya, also the team principal.

Sutil reckoned strategy was crucial today and felt things could have been slightly different but for the last pit stop which cost him a couple of extra seconds.

"It was a real strategy race this time. At times it was difficult to know which was the best tyre to be on, as it would rain and then dry and then rain again," Sutil said.

"I lost a couple of positions in this final stop and that was what dropped me back to 13th. Although we could close to within a second of Michael (Schumacher) I just ran out of laps to get past. But that's how it is, sometimes you win in this type of race and sometimes it just doesn't go your way," he said, rather philosophically.

Liuzzi was equally upset after a premature end to his race when he spun his Force India into Kamui Kobayashi's BMW Sauber and Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso, bringing out the safety car.

"Unfortunately I had a problem warming up the brakes on the formation lap due to the cold and the rain and then when I went into corner four on the first lap and braked, the rear completely locked and I lost control of the car and went off," explained the Italian.

"It was a shame as we had had a really good start and gained three positions in just the first corner and it could have been a very interesting race, particularly with how the conditions panned out," he rued.

It turned out to be a McLaren one-two as Jenson Button won a nail-biting race, just ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. Karun, who started from pit lane, was happy to finish yet another race and said it was a good outing for Hispania since both the cars made to the chequered flag.

"I am happy to have finished this race again today after our difficult debut in Bahrain and it was not easy today with the rain," he said.

"Because of a necessary change of hydraulic components on the car, I had to start from the pit lane. This change was profitable as the car was fully operational until the end of the race," Karun explained.

"It was a bit difficult as we had less front grip and I was struggling with it. Because of the rain I went off a couple of times but I made it to the finish. For the team it is encouraging to finish with both cars again," added the Chennai driver.

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