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Motorsport | Formula 1

Paul Di Resta © Gallo Images

Force India make sure they are seen in Bahrain

Force India made sure their cars got plenty of television exposure at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday after Britain's Paul Di Resta qualified fifth with his German teammate Adrian Sutil sixth on the grid.

The cars were invisible to viewers of the same race last year after the team angered Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone by pulling out of a Friday practice session so jittery staff could get back to their hotel before nightfall.

Earlier in that 2012 race week, some Force India employees had been caught up in a petrol bomb incident on the highway as anti-government protests spilled over into the cocooned world of Formula One.

The team's subsequent absence from the TV feed triggered speculation that they had been punished, although Ecclestone denied that was the case.

That all seemed like ancient history on Saturday, with teams reporting no troubles this time despite ongoing low-level clashes around the island in parts rarely seen by most grand prix visitors.

Di Resta's grid position was the best of the Scot's career to date.

"It's very good, very encouraging," deputy team principal Bob Fernley told Reuters.

"I think it was a good solid team performance, that. It has been solid all the way through the weekend. It's not something that's just sort of crept in. It has been top 10. I think we can hold at least where we are," he added.


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