Force India came away from qualifying for the team’s first home grand prix with a reasonable result – Adrian Sutil qualified eighth with Paul di Resta thirteenth. The Scot will actually start from P12 once penalties to other drivers are implemented.
“We've been saying all week that this is a special race for us so I'm very happy with today's qualifying performance,” said Sutil. “We are so determined to do well here and today's result is the first step towards that. P8 is one of my best qualifying results of the season and I think it was the maximum we could achieve from the session.
“The balance of the car was excellent and I really enjoy this circuit, which seems to suit my driving style. But tomorrow is the important day and now we have to think hard about the strategy we will run. I feel very comfortable with the car and I think we will be more competitive than we were in Korea.”
Di Resta was not particularly happy with his performance in qualifying but is determined to get a good result from the inaugural Indian Grand Prix tomorrow.
“Starting P12 is a bit disappointing really, because we looked quite strong this morning,” he said. “But I struggled with a bit of understeer in the high-speed corners and we couldn't fix it during the session. I think the conditions cooled a little bit, which maybe didn't help us because I couldn't get the balance quite where I wanted it.
“I feel that points are still achievable tomorrow and we seem quite strong on the longer runs. There's a hard task ahead, but I will stay focussed and try to do the best job possible in the team's home race.”
Team principal Vijay Mallya was delighted with the result and is hoping for a double points finish on race day. “Another excellent day of track action at Buddh International Circuit and I'm delighted to see a Sahara Force India starting the very first Indian Grand Prix from the fourth row of the grid,” he said. “The whole team has worked very hard to bring our final upgrade package here this weekend and I think that showed in our performance today.
“Adrian clearly loves this circuit and was on top form this afternoon. Paul has also been very strong, but unfortunately he lost the sweet spot he had with the car this morning and missed out on making Q3. Still, we know we have a strong car for tomorrow and I'm hopeful both drivers can be in the hunt for points. It's our home race and I hope all the fans will get behind Sahara Force India in what will be a spetacular and historic moment for India.”