Abu Dhabi GP: Di Resta gets 2 pts for Force India; Nico, Narain crash out

Abu Dhabi: Nico Hulkenberg had to endure a crash in the first lap of the race but Paul di Resta earned two points for Sahara Force India from the incident-filled Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Narain Karthikeyan survived a big accident, here yesterday.

Di Resta finished ninth after starting 12th from the grid but Hulkenberg's race lasted less than a lap as he damaged his car due to an accident at the start.

Karthikeyan, India's only F1 driver at present, suffered a massive crash in lap 8 when Nico Rosberg launched his Mercedes off the back of the HRT of Karthikeyan.

The Indian driver braked early at that corner and Rosberg could not stop his Mercedes from hitting and then flying over Karthikeyan's car.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, his teammate Paul di Resta and Sauber's Sergio Perez touch wheels after the start of the Abu Dhabi GP on Sunday. AFP

It was a huge crash — similar to when Michael Schumacher hit David Coulthard in the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix.

Fortunately, both Karthikeyan and Rosberg escaped unhurt.

Earlier, there was contact between the Hulkenberg and Williams' Bruno Senna and the German's car was damaged badly.

"I think I just had quite a bad start into turn one and got sandwiched and I was halfway between the cars and there was no way out and there was contact," Hulkenberg said.

Force India now have 95 points, 29 behind Sauber and it is highly unlikely that the Indian team can now achieve the sixth place in the constructors' table with just two races left in the season.

Paul di Resta said it was "quite a hectic race" for him. "I'm not sure what happened going into turn one because I had a great launch and moved ahead of Nico, but on the exit of the corner I realised immediately that I had a puncture. That cost me a lot of ground, but the first safety car brought me back into play.

"In the final stages our pace was strong and I moved ahead of the Toro Rossos, but I just could not get ahead of Senna. He was in the DRS zone of Massa and I just could not make the move so I had to settle for ninth," he said.

Karthikeyan, who had slowed down because of yet another mechanical problem just before the accident with Rosberg, said the continuous problems with his car are disappointing.

"This pattern is not only frustrating in terms of results but ultimately is a huge safety concern as well. We need to investigate and really get to the root of these issues since as a driver it isn't a very comfortable with so much going on in a race as it is," he said.

PTI

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