Force India rue missed opportunity

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Force India drivers Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil were both left ruing retirements after having good pace in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Both drivers were lapping very quickly on the drying track, with di Resta posting the fastest lap at one point, and the team looked set for a strong double score until problems in the pits dropped the cars down the order. Eventually, the team opted to retire both cars, although Adrian Sutil admitted that he was still unsure what the problem was.

“We’re not sure exactly what happened yet so the team stopped the cars to make sure we understand the issue.

“It’s a shame that this happened here because we had a very quick car today and I felt very comfortable as the track dried out. We have to stay positive, keep our heads up and remember that there are plenty of races left where we can make up for the disappointment of today.”

Sutil had qualified in eighth for the race, ahead of Paul di Resta who had been caught out by the rain in Q2 on Saturday. The British driver had made good headway during the race, and he was similarly disappointed to not have finished.

“It’s frustrating to come away with nothing given how competitive we have looked all weekend.

“We saw an issue at Adrian’s first pit stop when I was sat behind him, which cost me about 15 seconds, and then I had the same issue with the wheel nut at my second pit stop. As a precaution the team chose to retire the car.”

di Resta did however take the positives from the race weekend, and he is now relishing the next race in China in three weeks’ time.

“The good news is that we have the performance in the car, but this is definitely a missed opportunity because we had the potential to score a lot of points today. We will go away, take this on the chin, and come back fighting in China.”

Force India have certainly shown strong pace at the beginning of the season, and their haul of ten points still places them fifth in the constructors ahead of McLaren, Sauber and Toro Rosso.

Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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