Force India had what can only be described as a disastrous qualifying session today in Germany, and both cars will start tomorrow’s race towards the back of the grid among the new teams.
Tonio Liuzzi had an accident in Q1 which saw his car heavily damaged. The lap time he had set beforehand will allow him to start ahead of Sakon Yamamoto and Lucas di Grassi but will have a difficult race from 22nd on the grid.
Adrian Sutil was fourteenth fastest in Q2, which would have been disappointing if that was his final grid slot. Unfortunately for the German, he will start his home race down in nineteenth, behind the two Lotus drivers, after receiving a five-place penalty for changing his gear box.
“Not really such a great day for us!” exclaimed Sutil. “The weekend started so well and in the rain the car was so strong, but it’s not gone right today.
“This morning I had a problem with the driveshaft and missed the whole session. We also had to change the gearbox as a result of the problem so we knew that we would be facing a tough challenge with the five place penalty we would get. Then in qualifying I didn’t have any grip and the car was sliding around and we were only quick enough for 14th place.
“All the same it’s only qualifying and there’s a long race tomorrow where anything can happen.With a good strategy we can always go for a good result.”
Liuzzi escaped his accident unscathed, but damaged his VJM03 heavily in a collision with the pit wall. The Italian blamed a puddle on the side of the track for this incident, but is still hopeful of a stellar drive tomorrow.
“I had a good couple of laps but then I hit a wet patch on the kerb or on the grass that wasn’t visible from the track and it then started the accident,” Liuzzi said. “I lost the rear and was pushed out quite strongly across the track and into the wall. I wasn’t hurt, but it’s such a shame as we lost the qualifying and now have to start far down the grid.
“We can still make up some places as we showed in the last race in Silverstone where I came back to 11th and under a second from the points, so the race pace is very strong – let’s see what we can do.”