Tonio Liuzzi described his ninth placed finish as “magic” as the Italian driver picked up his first points for Force India, in the Bahrain Grand Prix. The 28-year-old took advantage of his team-mate’s misfortune at the start to storm into the top ten.
As aforementioned, Adrian Sutil’s afternoon was ruined when he collided with Robert Kubica on the opening lap. Despite this, the German driver battled back to finish twelfth.
Adrian Sutil (12th): At least we finished. After the incident in the first corner it was the maximum we could do. We had a good race in the end, learning a lot about the tyres and how the car behaves at the end of a race, but the incident pretty much destroyed my hopes of getting any points. I don’t really know what happened in that corner – I was driving and then there was a big cloud of smoke so I was blind going into it. I touched someone and spun and that was it. It’s a shame but we will keep pushing for the next race.
Tonio Liuzzi (9th): I’m really pleased. We achieved our target and scored some points, which is a great result for myself and for the team. It was a difficult race as with this amount of fuel and the tyres, plus the heat, we had a bit to control but overall I think we can be pretty happy about how we handled it and to be in the points is magic. All the top teams finished ahead of us and there were no failures or reliability issues so it was the maximum we could have achieved. I’m now looking forward to Australia where we will get some more updates and it could put us in an even better position for the next race. Overall a great result for the team.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal: What a great start to the season! I am absolutely delighted that we have scored in the first race of the season. It was always our aim to score points and we knew we had the pace to do it, but nevertheless to finally get there gives a great feeling. Tonio drove a superb race, matching the pace of the top teams in front, and it is certainly encouraging for the coming races. Adrian was unlucky and I know he will be disappointed not to have been able to capitalise on his starting position, but the season is long and he is hungry so I do not think he will have to wait long for his turn.