The Force India F1 Team has secured its second consecutive points' finish of 2010 in today's Australian Grand Prix. Tonio Liuzzi drove the VJM03 home to seventh position overall, bringing his and the team's season tally to eight points.
After a rain shower arrived just minutes
before the start of the race, Tonio switched to the intermediate tyre on the grid. As the rain eased and a dry line emerged the Italian made a stop for the option dry tyres on lap nine. He remained on this set until the end of the race, overtaking the Sauber of Pedro de la Rosa for tenth on lap 20 and then keeping Rubens Barrichello
, who was on a newer set of rubber, at bay. When Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber clashed in the closing stages Tonio was promoted to seventh to secure his second points finish of the year.
Adrian Sutil unfortunately did not finish the race as he reported a loss of power from his engine on lap seven. He returned to the pits for the team to attempt repairs however when a quick fix could not be made he retired on lap nine.
We seemed to have a problem with the engine very early on in the race. I was driving on just four cylinders and then lost the power and that was it really. It was a shame as we were looking good after the start. The team looked to try and get me out again after I came into the garage as we were in such a good position and I was the quickest car on the circuit at one stage. We missed out on a big chance here today but what can you do. It's good news for the team that Tonio got some more points and I'll be looking to bring my points on board at the next race.
Another great race and another great result for the team. It's a confirmation of the pace we showed in Bahrain and the work the team did over the winter. We worked hard all weekend for this seventh place and it's a brilliant result at the end of what was a crazy race. At the beginning of the race on the intermediate tyres we were struggling a little and lost a few positions but after I pitted for the dry tyres I was able to recover and stay on the race pace. Towards the end of the race the rear tyres were going off a lot as I had been on them for a long time, but it was just enough to hold onto the position. I think it was another perfect weekend and now we can look forward to Malaysia.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal:
What a race we had here today! Thrilling to watch and a delight to see a Force India car in the top ten. Tonio drove a brilliant race, looking after his tyres for almost 50 laps, to secure his second points of the season. It was richly deserved for him. Moreover, the result confirms that our pace is there and we are now genuinely in the hunt for points. It is a shame for Adrian as this could have been his race, but we'll look at what went wrong so he can go for his first points of the season in Malaysia.