Japanese GP: Force India qualifying report

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01): FP3: 6th 1:32.467 (25 laps) Q1: 9th 1:31.386 (8 laps) Q2: 8th 1:31.222 (6 laps) Q3: 4th 1:32.466 (6 laps) Tonio Liuzzi (car 21, VJM02/04): FP3: 20th 1:33.167 (18 laps) Q1: 19th 1:32.087 (9 laps) 3 October...

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01):
FP3: 6th 1:32.467 (25 laps)
Q1: 9th 1:31.386 (8 laps)
Q2: 8th 1:31.222 (6 laps)
Q3: 4th 1:32.466 (6 laps)

Tonio Liuzzi (car 21, VJM02/04):
FP3: 20th 1:33.167 (18 laps)
Q1: 19th 1:32.087 (9 laps)

3 October 2009 - The Force India Formula One Team will start from the second row of the grid for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix following an outstanding performance from Adrian Sutil in a chaotic, multi-disrupted qualifying session. Adrian will start his 50th Grand Prix from fourth, alongside long-time friend and current World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Adrian easily made the cut for Q2, setting the ninth quickest time. In the second session the 26-year-old German completed just one flying lap after the two red flags for Alguersuari and Glock's accidents, but his time of 1:31.222 was the eighth quickest of the session and eased him into Q3 for the third time this season. When Q3 finally got started after the third red flag period following Kovalainen's accident, Adrian completed a further two flying laps and was just seven hundredths from third position.

Tonio Liuzzi unfortunately did not progress through to Q2. The gearbox of his VJM02 developed a gear selection problem in the final minutes of FP3 and with limited set-up time before qualifying he was unable to move from 19th.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)

It was always a good feeling to go to a track you know, where you feel good and the confidence is there. Our car has performed well on these type of circuits in the past and we've had a strong weekend so far but we did not expect to be able to race in the top five, so fourth is a really great position for the start tomorrow. It was a long session, with so many red flags that we had to cancel a few laps and come in and then try to focus again. Finally it was OK and on the last few laps the car felt great. Third was also very close, just a few hundredths away, but unfortunately Lewis just took it right at the very end of the session! We had a really hard weekend in Singapore and it's nice to be back: it's just fantastic for the team. Tomorrow it will be a tough, long race but I'm just going to focus on what I have to do. I will do my best.

Tonio Liuzzi (car 21)

We had a few issues in the morning in free practice with the gearbox and we couldn't test everything we needed to, including the soft tyres, which cost us a lot. The guys did a great job to change the 'box and get out again for qualifying but we had a lot of understeer in qualifying and it was not 100% as a result. To make it worse I have not been feeling at my best today so it's a combination of everything really. I hope for more tomorrow for sure.

Simon Roberts, chief operating officer

It's a great result for Adrian and a real boost for the team after a difficult Singapore Grand Prix weekend. He drove a fantastic qualifying, often with just one chance to get it right and under a lot of pressure, and his efforts were rewarded with another good starting position. We're very hopeful for tomorrow; we feel we have a good strategy, Adrian knows the track well and feels confident around here. It was unfortunate that Tonio could not progress beyond Q1 but with the limited time available to change his gearbox between sessions he didn't quite get the lap together. But well done to all the team for turning it around so quickly and I'm sure Tonio will come back stronger in the race tomorrow.

-credit: force india

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Adrian Sutil
Teams Force India