Force India declared themselves ‘encouraged’ by the qualifying performance that leaves Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta starting tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix twelfth and thirteenth respectively.
Sutil knows, however, that qualifying is less important this year thanks to the new Pirelli tyres. He thinks, though, that the team are better-placed to compete for a good haul of points tomorrow than they have been in previous races this season.
“It was quite a straightforward session for me with no major issues,” said the German. “I think we used the tyres well, there were no problems with traffic and it was a great team effort. But we should remember that the races so far this year have shown that qualifying is not as important as it used to be and it’s more important to have a good car for the race.
“I’m pretty happy with my set-up for tomorrow and feel more comfortable with the car than I did at the last race. In terms of the tyres, the hard seemed to perform very well yesterday, but the softs are looking good in the higher temperatures so it will be interesting to see how that develops in the race.”
Di Resta reveals that he has a set of tyres in reserve for race day, and is aiming to add to his tally of F1 points tomorrow. “I think it was another great team performance today and we are roughly where we expected to be,” he commented. “There were no problems in Q1, and in Q2 I only did one run because we thought it would optimise our race strategy and save a set of tyres.
“I’m happy with my set-up for the race and I think we’ve sacrificed a bit more today to have a better car tomorrow. Hopefully that will put us in a reasonable position to fight the cars ahead of us and pick up some more points.”
Force India Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley shares his drivers’ positivity, and is expecting a busy race. “A pretty good day overall,” he said in summary. “Starting in P12 and P13 puts us in a great position to race strongly and hopefully challenge for more points. It was a shame that we just missed out on getting ahead of Barrichello, but ultimately Williams were just a little quicker today.
“For the race I think we can expect more of what we saw in China with lots of action throughout the field. It will be interesting to see how the tyres hold up, especially with the demands of turn eight, and we know there are some good overtaking opportunities in the lap which should make for some exciting racing.”