It was a mixed qualifying session for Force India in Germany today as Adrian Sutil secured eighth place on the grid for his home race with ‘pretty much perfect’ laps, but Paul di Resta was forced to settle for P12 after just missing out on a place in Q3.
“Another strong qualifying performance for us and it's great to be starting my home race from P8,” commented a pleased Sutil. “My Q3 lap was good, although a couple of tenths slow slower than my Q2 lap, but it wouldn't have changed my overall position.
“My laps in Q2 and Q3 were pretty much perfect and I feel I got the maximum from the car. The balance has been good all weekend; I feel confident in the car and I really like this circuit. So I'm excited about the race tomorrow and really looking forward to it. We just have to wait and see what happens with the weather.”
Di Resta cites tyre struggles throughout qualifying for the reason he was out-qualified by his team-mate. However, the Scot is optimistic that he has a good set-up for the race tomorrow.
“It was quite a tough day for me,” he explained. “I couldn't really get the tyres to work when it mattered and I was struggling with a lack of grip in both Q1 and Q2. I seem to have lost some ground to Adrian compared to yesterday so perhaps one of the directions we took overnight hasn't quite worked out. We need to analyse that and hopefully try and improve for tomorrow.
“As for the race, the unsettled forecast means it's unlikely to be a straightforward race. I still hope we can fight for points because our long run pace has looked quite strong. Also my set-up is more race-orientated, which will hopefully play into our hands.”
Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley said that today’s results demonstrates how well Force India are recovering from their poor start to the season:
“Today's performance once again shows just how competitive we have become over the last few races,” he said. “The pace of the car is genuine and both drivers are doing a good job of extracting it.
“This is a home race for Adrian and we are all delighted to see him qualify in P8 – a target we felt was realistic before the session. Paul lines up in P12 and did not feel totally comfortable with his car this afternoon. Even so, I'm confident that both drivers can be in the hunt for points tomorrow afternoon.
“The big unknown will be the weather because rain is a real possibility, but I'm determined to see us realise our potential and score points that reflect our pace.”