Force India team principal Vijay Mallya was ‘very pleased’ after both Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta got through to the final part of qualifying in Abu Dhabi today. They will start tomorrow’s race from ninth and tenth respectively.
“I'm very pleased with our performance today and with both Sahara Force India cars starting from the fifth row of the grid we are in good shape for tomorrow,” he said. “It will be an interesting race because we have seen that the tyre degradation here is not that severe, which means we need to think long and hard about how we will use the strategy.
“With just two races to go we are not underestimating how important it is to score points here to strengthen our grasp on sixth place in the constructors' championship. I believe we have the speed to do so, but as I've said before you never know until it's in the bag.”
Sutil said that the position was a fair reflection of the team’s pace at the moment: “I'm happy with ninth place today and it was a good session for me,” said the German. “In Q3 we waited a bit longer than planned because we wanted to wait and see what Mercedes did. In the end they decided to go out so I also went out and I did a timed lap.
“The lap was a little bit compromised because I didn't get the tyres fully up to temperature, so maybe I could have been a bit higher up. Still, I don't think we can complain too much because P9 is a fair reflection of our pace at the moment.”
Di Resta said that he is well-placed to score points in tomorrow’s race: “Getting two cars in the top ten was the objective today and that's what we achieved,” said the Scot. “We made some good progress this morning perfecting the set-up and I was happy with the car in qualifying. Q1 and Q2 went well and we got the job done by getting in the top ten. Our approach to Q3 was to give us the optimum strategy for tomorrow. For the race we are definitely hoping for points because our focus is to maintain our sixth place in the championship.
“I'm really looking forward to this race because the place looks spectacular at night. It's also nice to drive in twilight conditions when it's a bit cooler.”