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Force India out to maintain momentum

Wednesday 20-March-2013 14:11

Force India left Australia with a handy haul of points and the team are now hoping for more of the same at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Paul di Resta made it into Q3 on Saturday and eventually qualified ninth, but his team-mate Adrian Sutil was one of the real stars of the show on Sunday as he led the race for several laps.

Sutil started his first race in F1 in over a year in 12th position and eventually settled for seventh as his super soft tyres did not quite hold up for as long as he would've liked.

However, with team-mate Di Resta finishing eighth, the team left Melbourne with 10 points and team principal Vijay Mallya hopes they will build on that performance at Sepang this weekend.

"We have scored points in Sepang the last three times we raced there, including a double-points finish last year, and I believe we can build on the early-season momentum to bring home a valuable result," he said.

"Last weekend's race in Melbourne was a great demonstration of how far the team has come lately: to race against the established front-runners on merit shows the quality of our car, of our driver line-up and of the work everyone in the team is producing every day, whether at the factory or at the circuit. We have led the last two races and hopefully soon we will have a special result to repay all that effort.

"With improved results come increased responsibilities: the whole world of Formula One - our rivals, the media and the fans - now look at Force India as a competitor for points at every race. It is our duty to sustain this scrutiny by going out every day and performing to our best to keep challenging the top teams in the world.

"The 2013 Championship is just at the beginning, and it is important not to get carried away with enthusiasm: we will need to channel this positive energy into consistently good performances and continue to improve. We are on a good road, and we must all keep progressing."

Di Resta, who found himself stuck behind a McLaren for a long spell, believes the team have a solid base to work from this year.

"It's positive to have four points on the board already, but it's a shame I was stuck behind Jenson [Button] at the beginning of my second stint," he said.

"He was running a three-stop race and essentially that's what lost me a lot of track position. We've got some things we need to pick up on and we can definitely make some improvements, but we're in a good place to start the season.

"Also, we've seen already that we can make a stop less than some of our competitors so let's see if that remains the case in Malaysia."

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