Force India had a difficult qualifying session in Turkey today, failing to get either car into the Q3.
Adrian Sutil qualified eleventh, and was denied a place in the top-ten shoot-out in the dying seconds of Q2 by Michael Schumacher.
Tonio Liuzzi had the dubious distinction of going out in Q1 along with the six drivers from the new teams, and will start tomorrow’s race from 18th position.
The team were running their new SWR (Switchable Rear Wing) – their version of the McLaren F-duct. After collecting only limited data on the device this weekend, it was decided just to run the system on Liuzzi’s car for qualifying and the race.
Sutil has had a tricky weekend, with a big shunt in Free Practice 1 and a further problem in Free Practice 3 this morning and as a result, can be reasonably happy with his grid slot. “This morning I couldn’t do any running because of a hydraulic problem on the car and as we had some problems yesterday as well, I didn’t really know what to expect out there in qualifying as I hadn’t done so many laps before,” said the German.
“All the same we had a good balance on the car and I was quite happy with the final lap time. We were very close to Q3 again, just under a tenth, so I think it’s all open for tomorrow.
“Eleventh on the grid, and the good side as well, I think we can be very confident. It will be a tough race with the heat but I think we have a good chance to score some points again.
Liuzzi offered a few excuses for his lowly grid position, and is hoping he can make up ground in tomorrow’s race: We didn’t get the most from qualifying today and should have been in a better position.
“We have been struggling with the grip since the start of the weekend and had a pretty similar issue to Barcelona. We don’t seem to have the right balance or get the tyres to work, particularly at the rear of the car. We are trying a couple of things and once it is sorted we will be competitive for sure, so it’s not worth dwelling on today.
“The new switchable rear wing has been a big step forward so we can be pretty confident about the race. So although it’s disappointing for now, tomorrow we should be able to move up the field and do as much as we can.”
Vijay Mallya, the Force India team principal, was not too upset with the disappointing qualifying results, and knows the team can still challenge for points in tomorrow’s race. “It’s been a difficult weekend with various issues to contend with, but it’s tomorrow that counts.
“Adrian is still in a very good position, on the clean side of the track and able to run new tyres, and he has scored points from further down the field before.
“Tonio also has the use of our new SRW device and should be able to make the most of it on the longer straight here. So, overall, we can remain positive and look to make the most of whatever comes our way.”