Sutil rues more bad luck

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Adrian Sutil’s luck didn’t improve during the Spanish Grand Prix as he failed to score for the fourth race in a row.

Sutil’s race got off to an excellent start as he passed several drivers around the outside of the first corner, climbing five places to take eighth. But disaster struck at his first pit stop.

“It was all going to plan until the first pit stop when there was an issue and I lost so much time,” Sutil said. “The team told me to switch the engine off while they sorted the problem, but it cost me the chance of points.”

“For the rest of the race it was a case of pushing as much as possible because you never know what can happen. It’s frustrating, but you have to accept these things. Hopefully it will not happen again.”

Force India confirmed the problem on Sutil’s car was a cross-threaded wheel nut. They said it was not related to the problem the team had in Malaysia, where both drivers had to retire because of problems changing their tires.

Sutil’s misfortune continued in China where he was hit from behind by Esteban Gutierrez and taken out of the race. His race in Bahrain was ruined by a first-lap collision with Felipe Massa.

But Force India’s problems weren’t confined to Sutil yesterday. A problem with the signal to Paul di Resta’s car meant he was not being automatically notified when he could use DRS, meaning his engineer had to tell him when he was able to.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.