Force India rues pit confusion

Force India said it is keen to move on from and forget its German Grand Prix after a first lap collision and pitstop confusion ruined its chances of points

Force India rues pit confusion

Both cars were already down the order on the grid after Adrian Sutil had to take a gearbox change penalty having only qualified 14th, and Tonio Liuzzi crashed in Q1, leaving him 22nd.

The pair then collided on the first lap, with Liuzzi sustaining wing damage. He pitted for repairs, but Sutil had also pitted, as his strategy had been an immediate tyre change if he failed to gain ground at the start. The wrong tyres were then put on each car, forcing them to come back in again.

"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," said Sutil. "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."

The drivers went on to finish 16th and 17th, with Liuzzi ahead.

The team's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said the mess all started with the need to make up for Saturday's problems.

"It was a case of cause-and-effect - one bad thing led to another," he said.

"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 agreed that hopefully the Hockenheim disaster would be a one-off.

"This weekend we've just not been quick enough but we feel it's just a blip and not anything too serious - at some races you just don't run well, so it's best to write it off and look forward to the next races," he said.

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