It was a hard-fought qualifying session for Sahara Force India as Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta qualified in twelfth and sixteenth places respectively for tomorrow’s Indian Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit.
Nico Hulkenberg (VJM05/03 - Q2: 1:26.241, P12): “We went into the session targeting and expecting to make Q3, so it’s a bit disappointing to miss out.
I guess that some other cars have picked up pace today and that’s why we are behind them. I still have confidence for the race because we have seen how close the times are today and we were not too far away from the top ten.
The other good news is that we can pick our starting tyres for the race, so our focus tonight is to think hard about the strategy.”
Paul Di Resta (VJM05/02 - Q2: 1:26.989, P16 ): “It’s a big weekend for us but the performance we showed today is not really where we want to be. It has been a tricky couple of days and we’ve not been able to maximise the car we’ve got.
The car balance was not ideal and I didn’t have the best lap during my final run in Q2 – there were a few small mistakes and I didn’t have the consistency or the confidence to really push.
So there is a lot of work to do ahead of the race tomorrow and we need to look at things overnight to see where we can improve. It’s an important day for us and we need to try and recover some ground if we want to come home with points.”
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director: “We saw another very close session today, but ultimately we didn’t have the performance level to continue our run of top ten qualifying performances.
We’ve been struggling to find the sweet spot on set-up and it seems that the tyres have played a much more significant role here. Their operating window on this track seems very narrow and we probably haven’t got the most from them.
Even so, it’s only Saturday and tomorrow is what counts. There is a long race ahead and we can still turn things around and demonstrate our true potential.
It’s our home Grand Prix and we want to deliver strong races with both cars to hopefully see both Sahara Force Indias inside the points come Sunday afternoon.”
Source: Sahara Force India Formula One Team