Melbourne: Sahara Force India got off to their best ever start to a Formula One season Sunday when comeback man Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in an exciting Australian Grand Prix here at Albert Park.
Kimi Raikkonen jumped six places on the grid to win the 58-lap race in his Lotus, ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, who started in pole position for Red Bull Racing.
Most of the drivers were on a three-stop strategy while Raikkonen and Force India drivers reaped the benefits of pitting twice.
Sutil moved up five places on the grid to bag six points while di Resta, who was ninth fastest in the qualifying earlier Sunday, gained a position in the race to collect four points.
The German impressed in his first race in more than 12 months and was leading the pack until lap 21, largely because of his late first pit stop. He was running fifth towards the end of the race before being overtaken by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber in the second Red Bull.
With the good result here, Force India now head to Malaysia as a more confident unit. The Silverstone-based team managed only a point in the 2012 Australia round where di Resta came tenth. In 2011, Sutil and Di Resta came ninth and 10th.