Both Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta were left wondering what more they could have achieved at the end of today’s qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg got himself through to Q3, but was disappointed with his flying lap during that final part of qualifying, which meant that he finished the session only tenth.
Di Resta missed out on Q3 altogether, but clearly knew that the car was capable of getting him a better grid position than the twelfth place he actually secured.
“I'm happy to be in the top ten but not satisfied with my quick lap in Q3,” said Hulkenberg, evaluating his session. “I tried too hard and made a mistake, got some dirt on my tyres and couldn't recover the lap.
“It's a bit frustrating because my laptime from Q2 would have been good enough for sixth on the grid. So I'm a bit disappointed, but at the same time I'm focussing on the positives because we looked competitive during the session. Now we need to do the same in the race and pick up points.”
Di Resta is anticipating a difficult race from twelfth place tomorrow, and blames a crowded track for his difficulties in Q2.
“I think there was more potential in the car today, but I couldn't get the laptime when it counted during Q2,” said the Scot. “The main issue was trying to find track position and I had to push very hard on my out lap to make some space, which probably took too much out of the tyres. It's a shame because we were very quick in Q1 and the car has been working well here.
“We can still have a good race, but it won't be easy with the high temperatures and the fact that it's never easy to overtake here.”
Force India team principal Vijay Mallya had mixed feelings when reflecting on this result.
“We showed good pace today, but we didn't quite maximise our performance when it mattered,” he noted. “Nico did a superb lap to make Q3, but a small error on his final quick lap cost him several positions on the grid. Paul has a similar situation in Q2 when the tyre performance dropped off at the end of the lap and he missed out on making the top ten.
“The good news is that we've shown that we have a quick car here in Budapest and hopefully we can demonstrate that again tomorrow when it really counts.”