Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov will line up only fourteenth and sixteenth on the grid for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix tomorrow after a disappointing qualifying session to the team today in Delhi.
Petrov actually finished the session eleventh, but must serve a five-place grid penalty handed to him by stewards in Korea after running into the back of Michael Schumacher a fortnight ago.
“That was definitely disappointing,” said Senna, looking back on the session. “The circuit evolved from this morning and the changes made to the car took me, I believe, in the wrong direction given the conditions of the track. I struggled a lot with balance and paid the price for that. I have one set of new soft tyres so it's going to be difficult tomorrow, but I'm hoping that maybe the temperature will be lower and then perhaps we will have a stronger day than today.
“I think the track has evolved more to suit other cars, but maybe we'll look better tomorrow at the start of the race, particularly on the high fuel load that we will have. The level of tyre degradation looked fine in FP3 so let's see how that leaves us for the race.”
Petrov was actually the fastest driver during Q1 today, although he set his best lap of the faster soft tyre whilst second place driver Sebastian Vettel used only hard Pirelli tyre.
“It was a great feeling being top of the leaderboard at the end of Q1 this afternoon, and it was fully justified – at that point our pace was very good,” said the Russian. “I was a little bit off my times in Q2, and I wasn't able to better my Q1 time because I made a couple of minor errors on the last couple of corners. Combine that with the fact that the other teams' times improved and you have the reason for why I did not make Q3.
“Tomorrow's the first ever Indian GP so it is very much an open book in terms of what could happen. Even with my five place penalty, I remain optimistic that I can salvage a respectable result for the team.”