• Malaysian Grand Prix

Wheel nut issue frustrates Force India

ESPN Staff
March 24, 2013 « Poor first stint ruled out podium - Massa | Lotus perplexed by lost pace »
Both Force Indias were retired from the race due to the problem © Sutton Images
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Force India's captive wheel-nut system was to blame for the retirement of both the team's cars from the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Problems occurred at the first pit stops when the two cars had to stack behind each other to change from intermediate tyres. They lost more time at their second pit stops, ruining Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil's chances of points, before the team retired the two cars.

"A very disappointing end to a weekend where we have shown tremendous pace with both our cars," team principal Vijay Mallya said. "We made it safely through the opening laps in the damp conditions and the track came to us as we switched to dry tyres with Paul being one of the fastest cars on the circuit. Unfortunately things went wrong in the pits when we experienced an issue with our captive wheel nut system at the first stop, which resulted in major delays for both cars.

"The issue occurred again at the second stop and it became apparent we would not be able to solve it during the race. As a precaution we were forced to retire both cars and will have a full investigation. It's frustrating, but sometimes these things happen in racing. We will take the positives of the strong car performance and look to put things right next time out in China."

Di Resta said it was a frustrating end to the race after the car showed genuine pace over the weekend.

"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. 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."

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