The Sahara Force India team failed to impress their home fans during qualifying for tomorrow’s Indian Grand Prix. Both Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta missed out on Q3 and will therefore start twelfth and sixteenth on the grid respectively.
“We went into the session targeting and expecting to make Q3, so it’s a bit disappointing to miss out. After the first part of qualifying it was clear that it was going to be a big task, but obviously you always try and believe it is possible. My lap in Q2 was actually pretty good with no mistakes and that was just the maximum for us today,” Hulkenberg, who had starred in recent races, said.
“I guess that some other cars have picked up pace today and that’s why we are behind them. I still have confidence for the race because we have seen how close the times are today and we were not too far away from the top ten. The other good news is that we can pick our starting tyres for the race, so our focus tonight is to think hard about the strategy.”
It was another disappointing qualifying performance for di Resta, who has been outperformed by his German team mate recently.
“It’s a big weekend for us but the performance we showed today is not really where we want to be. It has been a tricky couple of days and we’ve not been able to maximise the car we’ve got. The car balance was not ideal and I didn’t have the best lap during my final run in Q2 – there were a few small mistakes and I didn’t have the consistency or the confidence to really push,” he said.
“So there is a lot of work to do ahead of the race tomorrow and we need to look at things overnight to see where we can improve. It’s an important day for us and we need to try and recover some ground if we want to come home with points.”
“We saw another very close session today, but ultimately we didn’t have the performance level to continue our run of top ten qualifying performances. We’ve been struggling to find the sweet spot on set-up and it seems that the tyres have played a much more significant role here,” Vijay Mallya concluded.