• Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying

Sutil hoping hard tyres will be an advantage

ESPNF1 Staff
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Adrian Sutil is confident of scoring points © Sutton Images

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Force India's Adrian Sutil is hoping his decision to use hard tyres in Q3 will pay off in the race, as the rest of the top ten will be starting on softs.

Sutil qualified tenth and under the this season's regulations the top ten drivers have to start the race on the same tyres they qualified on. Many drivers have complained of rear tyre wear in the hot desert conditions, a problem that will be exacerbated by a heavy fuel load. The hard tyres are likely to last longer and Sutil thinks this might give him an advantage.

"At the moment I'm in tenth and hopefully we can make one or two positions up as I'm the only car on the hard tyre so it may be an advantage," he said. "I'm surprised that the others were on the soft tyres so our decision could pay off tomorrow. We are strong under heavy fuel loads but we were very fast in Q1 and Q2 when everyone was on soft tyres so there are a few more positions we could gain. We worked very hard over the winter and over the last four years and it's nice to see it giving dividends now."

Force India CEO Otmar Szafnauer told ESPNF1: "We don't know where we could have qualified if we had been on the same tyres as everybody else. We were tenth on the hard tyres and everybody else [in the top ten] was on soft. There is a delta in performance. Was it big enough to move us ahead of tenth? Maybe. We will see in the race. But in qualifying we are a solid top ten car even though we were tenth."