Paul di Resta earned four points for Sahara Force India from the Italian Grand Prix with an eighth place finish but his teammate Nico Hulkenberg had to retire in the dying moments of the race despite a superb drive, in Monza on Sunday.
Force India driver Paul di Resta steers his car during the third free practice for the Italian Formula One GP, Italy. AP Photo
Di Resta had qualified fourth but started the
race in the ninth position due to a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Though he could not finish the race, Hulkenberg drove superbly after starting last on the grid as he did not set time in yesterday's qualifying due to a fuel pressure issue.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton won the race from pole position and was joined on the podium by a stunning Sergio Perez of Sauber in the second place, followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
None of the Red Bull cars could finish the race as both defending champion Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber encountered mechanical problems, forcing them to quit after competing for a good time in the race.
The Silverstone-based Indian team remained in the seventh position in the costructors' championship with 63 points and extended their lead over Williams by 10 points.
But Force India now trail Sauber (100) by 37 points and a sixth place finish looks near impossible for them.
Di Resta struggled a bit on the low downforce circuit and was pushed out of top-10 by Webber in lap 11, this was after he was overtaken by Perez.
Hulkenberg, though, was charged up and made his way up with a sensational drive. He jumped to 13th position by lap 16 and the German was soon in top-10 but without a pit stop.
Di Resta was trying hard to be in top-10 and succeeded when Jensen Button's race ended due to a mechanical failure.
From there, Di Resta gained two more places and since he went for a one-stop strategy tyre degradation could have posed a problem but he maintained that position till the end.
Hulkeneberg rose to as high as 13th when a few cars were forced out of the race due to various issues but with two laps to go, the Force India driver too was pushed out.