Force India qualified both cars in the top ten for the first time this season today in Singapore. Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta will start tomorrow’s grand prix from ninth and tenth respectively.
Neither driver chose to complete a lap during Q3 in an effort to save tyres, as Sutil explained after the session:
“We can be pretty happy with today's result,” said the German. “Going into qualifying we felt we had the pace to make the top ten, but that being higher than ninth and tenth would be difficult to achieve. So once we made Q3 we felt we had got the maximum from the car and that it would be a better decision to save our tyres.
“We kept an eye on what Mercedes were doing, but stayed in the garage in the end. I think the advantage of saving a set of tyres is worth it because it's a tough race for tyres and we have more options with the strategy. For tomorrow, anything could happen in the race but our clear goal is to finally get both cars in the points.”
This weekend marks Di Resta’s first ever grand prix in Singapore and the Scot is pleased with what he has achieved so far.
“Considering the difficult day I had yesterday, it feels pretty good to be starting in P10 for my first Singapore Grand Prix,” he said. “We knew yesterday that the car had good performance here and I think we got as much as we could from that session. That's why we stayed in the garage during Q3 because it gives us a free tyre choice for tomorrow on fresh rubber.
“In terms of tyres I've got to rely a bit on the data from Adrian's car because I didn't get a chance to do any high fuel runs yesterday. This morning I didn't feel quite so comfortable on the supersofts but felt happier on the soft tyre. For the race we'll be aiming to take the fight to the cars ahead of us, but we also need to keep an eye on the guys behind because all the midfield cars have shown strong race pace recently.”
Team principal Vijay Mallya was delighted with the result and is hopeful that both cars can collect points in tomorrow’s race.
“We knew coming into this weekend that we had the potential to go well here, and so it proved today,” he said. “It's a high downforce track and the car has been fast since the start of practice. In every session we've shown top ten pace. So it's satisfying to convert that into a qualifying result with two cars inside the top ten – the first time we've achieved that this season.
“It's an especially good result considering the time we lost with Paul's car yesterday in second practice and he's done a good job to recover from that. The target tomorrow is clearly to build on today's showing and come away with both cars in the points.”