19/03/2012

Weekend review!

F1
Di Resta 10th (1 point), Hulkenberg DNF, Karthikeyan DNS.

- Karthikeyan failed to qualify so his weekend ended early.
- Hulkenberg qualified 9th but tagged Mark Webber at the start causing suspension damage meaning he had to retire.
- Di Resta started 15th and avoided incident while benefiting from a crazy last lap to JUST grab 10th.

Paul Di Resta (Sahara Force India driver):
"It's always nice to start the season with a point, but it was not looking too promising until the last few laps when my engineer told me that I was catching the cars ahead of me. Fortunately I had saved quite a bit of KERS for the last corner, which helped me get a good run on Vergne and beat him to the line for tenth. So it was a pretty exciting final lap. It's a good way to start the season, but it's clear we have a lot of work to do because we were struggling for pace at the start of each stint, which hurt my overall race pace. Even so, considering where I started and the weekend we've had, I don't think I can be disappointed to have come away with a point".

Nico Hulkenberg (Sahara Force India driver):
"I don't seem to have much luck at Albert Park. My first race here in 2010 was less than a lap and today was a repeat of that. I'm still not really sure what happened, but I got hit when I turned into the first corner on lap one. It's such a shame because I had made a great start, moved up a couple of positions and then I just felt somebody tap me from behind. There was a puncture and the suspension was damaged so my race was over and I had to park up. These things happen when 22 cars are battling going into a tight first corner, but it’s really frustrating to miss out after such a good qualifying session. The good thing is that I will be back in the car in five days time, which is the best way to bounce back and get over the disappointment".

Robert Fernley (Sahara Force India deputy team principle):
"We always felt that today's race was likely to be full of drama and it didn't disappoint – particularly the closing lap of the race when Paul did an excellent job to grab the final point in the dash to the line. He drove a very clean race, stayed out of trouble and made the most of the strategy, but ultimately he struggled for absolute pace over the duration of the stints, which is something we need to address. As for Nico, he was simply the innocent victim of the turn one chaos. He got hit quite hard from behind going into turn one, which caused some serious damage to the left rear suspension and he immediately came on the radio to say that he needed to park the car. We have to take this on the chin because it's part of racing, but it's disappointing for Nico who needs all the race miles he can get at the moment. Still, he's shown what he is capable of and he can be proud of the job he has done this weekend".

World Endurance Championship
Chandhok 17th overall; 7th in his class (0.5 points).

- Team qualified 6th overall with teammate David Brabham at the wheel.
- A problem with a switch on the formation lap meant a pre-race stop, putting the car last.
- 1 hour 42 minutes into the race, Karun started his stint in the car.
- He began in 8th and ended his 1 hour 40 minute stint in 6th.
- After 9 hours 20 minutes the car had a suspension problem.
- After 30 minutes/15 laps in the pits fixing the problem, Karun had his second stint.
- He started the stint 25th and made up lots of positions, occasionally being the fastest man on the track.
- A small collision on the final lap meant Karun had to do the last mile with a puncture.
- Karun finished 17th overall but 7th in his class.

Karun Chandhok:
"We had a podium finish on the cards, if not overall, then definitely for the WEC, so it was a great shame not to have made it into the top three. The car felt good for my final stint and to try to make up for lost time I pushed as hard as I could. It's a long time since I've driven two hours of qualifying laps! I have to say I really enjoyed my first taste of sportscar racing and I'm already looking forward to the next time".

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