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Force India draws a line under Hockenheim

ESPNF1 Staff
July 26, 2010 « No team orders at McLaren - Whitmarsh | »
Both Force India drivers pitted on the first lap © Sutton Images
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Force India is ready to "draw a line" under its disastrous German Grand Prix after a pit stop mix up saw its drivers finish 16th and 17th.

Tonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sultil both pitted on the first lap after the pair tangled out on track, and in the confusion the team mixed up the tyres and fitted Sutil's tyres to Liuzzi's and vice-a-versa. The mistake forced the pair to pit again to rectify the issue, dropping them to the back of the field. The team was reprimanded by the stewards and is now ready to start afresh at the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend.

"Of course we are disappointed with the result as we believed we could have finished much further up than we ultimately did," chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said. "It was a case of cause-and-effect - one bad thing led to another. We had some issues in practice, which meant qualifying was not ideal, and in trying to be aggressive at the start we had a coming together, which in turn led to the confusion in the stops. We will draw a line under it and focus on the new developments we have coming and we can take away some positives - we ran at a strong pace on both cars when they were fighting for position and we ran reliably in the race yet again."

Sutil explained that it had always been the plan for him to pit on the first lap but damage to Liuzzi's car complicated things.

"The first lap I had some contact with Tonio and lost some positions," he said. "It was always our strategy that, if after the start I had not made up places, I would pit on the first lap to change to the prime tyres and make up positions when other cars stopped later on. It was a good plan as you have nothing to lose when you are that far down, but there was some confusion in the stop. Tonio had radioed to say he was coming in for a front wing change and as we both arrived at the same time the tyre sets got mixed up and then I had to come in and pit again to get the correct set."

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