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Mallya proud of Sutil, Liuzzi's duels with Vettel, Alonso

world Updated: Jul 12, 2010 15:32 IST

More than the four points, Force India chairman Vijay Mallya is proud how Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi staved off challenges from Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso in yesterday's British Grand Prix.

"I'm really proud of both drivers here in Silverstone for on Monday both demonstrated great racing acumen to keep positions," an elated Mallya said.

Sutil, starting 11th on the grid, fiercely defended his seventh place till the final lap when Red Bull pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel pipped him to the post.

Down the track, Liuzzi, starting a lowly 20th, raced wheel-to-wheel to frustrate Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and finish 11th.

"It also gave us some great television," Mallya quipped.

"In both situations - Adrian with Sebastian and Tonio with Fernando it would have been very easy for them to buckle but they really did us proud and so nearly produced another double points finish.

"The pace of the car is clearly there and with more updates scheduled for the next race we can be very optimistic for the second half of the season," said Mallya, also the team principal.

Vettel seconded his view and conceded it was not possible to overtake Sutil on the straight.

"My fight with Adrian Sutil was very tough as I think that the Force India is the fastest car on the straight something in the range of 10km/h faster so it was not possible for me to overtake him on the straight," said the Red Bull driver.

Recalling the race, Sutil, who also overtook Mercedes' Michael Schumacher on Sunday, said, "There were some really good fights with Schumacher and then Vettel. It was good racing and I defended my position well against Vettel until the final lap, but then he just seemed to drive into me and I lost the racing line and had to move over.

"Otherwise I don't think he would have got past me. All the same eighth position was a good result in the end, it's more points and it keeps that momentum going. I'm really looking forward to my home Grand Prix in Germany next," he said.

Liuzzi was thrilled with his battle with Alonso but he complained of understeer in the first half of the race.

"I really enjoyed the second part of the race. We need to understand what happened in the first part of the race as with the hard tyres we had unbelievable understeer," he said.

"Definitely without this issue we could have been in the points so we'll look at it and understand. We still have an issue with the speed but it was a great race overall and I always pushed 100 per cent," the Italian added.