Disappointment for Force India as Raikkonen spoils Sutil's race

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Monaco, May 26 (UNI) Force India driver Adrian Sutil's spectacular performance came to a heart-breaking end when his car was hit by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen from behind and denied his team its first-ever points in the FIA Formula One World Championship here.

Sutil showed great control in the changeable wet-dry conditions and was running fourth at one stage yesterday.

With just seven minutes to go, Sutil looked certain to pocket four championship points when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen rammed into the back of the VJM01 car he was driving which put an end to what could have been a dream finish for the Force India driver.

The Finn ran into Sutil's car that had kept him at bay for so long, puncturing the rear tyre and damaging the rear suspension.

Adrian returned to the pits to retire from his finest race performance to date.

Meanwhile his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, who started his 200th Grand Prix here, also kept clear of the melee of crashes, traffic and safety car periods in front, but had to retire on lap 36 due to problems in his gearbox throughout the race.

The Italian had similarly been putting in some good laps, setting the eighth quickest lap time until his stop, but was obliged to retire when he could no longer select the fourth gear.

After the race, Sutil said it was was for him to accept that he could not finish the race after such a good start.

''I can't believe it, it was so close. It feels like a pain in my heart. It is like a dream gone to a nightmare - suddenly you are in the car and it looks all fantastic, then you have to accept it is not going to happen.

He added that he was in control towards the end and was sure of finishing among the points till the incident happened.

''We had a really good strategy and it seemed to work and we were so close to the podium and the points. It was after the restart after the final safety car that Kimi had a problem under braking and crashed into the back of my car.

''The race was over and it was a real shock. A few tears came out as the adrenaline was high. I just can't explain it. All the same I am so pleased that we did show was we can finally do as a team,'' he said.

Fisichella explained that he faced the gear problems throughout the race and said praised his teammate for putting up such a great performance even though he couldn't complete the race.

''At the beginning of the race I was just careful to be out of the trouble, but then I lost first and second gear and I was running third gear. Even with the conditions the lap times were competitive and then I lost fourth gear and the race was over.

''It's a real shame for the team, especially after Adrian's performance that we could not score our first points here,'' Fisichella said.

However, with renewed confidence Force India will be back in action in the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks time.

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