After choosing to withdraw from FP2 yesterday and losing considerable preparation time, Force India were pleased with the tenth and thirteenth positions claimed by Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying today in Bahrain.
“I'm very happy with our qualifying performance today,” said Di Resta. “With our reduced programme yesterday it wasn't easy getting all the work done, but the team did a good job to get the car dialled into the track before qualifying.
“I had a great lap in Q2, just three tenths away from the quickest time, but in Q3 we all took the decision from a strategic point of view to save tyres. I think this will put us in the best shape for tomorrow and I hope we can deliver a strong race.”
Hulkenberg said that a small mistake in his Q2 lap cost him the chance to join his team-mate in Q3, but is optimistic of a top ten finish tomorrow.
“It has been a very busy day for us, but we learned a lot this morning and improved the car all the way through to qualifying where we showed some good speed,” said the German.
“My Q2 lap was looking very strong until the final sector where I got some oversteer and ran wide, which cost me a few tenths. Otherwise I think we could have had both cars in the top ten. But I'm still pretty pleased and I feel that we can fight for points tomorrow.”
Force India Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley congratulated the whole team on their efforts in preparing for qualifying.
“I think the whole team has delivered an impressive performance today, which leaves us in a competitive position heading into the race,” he said. “We worked hard at improving the car between final practice and qualifying, and I think the track conditions came to us as well.
“Paul's pace in Q2 shows the potential we have in the car and allowed him to reach Q3 for the first time this year, which was a tremendous effort. Nico was close to joining him too, but a small mistake cost him some time in the final part of the lap.
“We are now looking forward to the race and building on today's showing to help put on a great spectacle for Bahrain.”