• Singapore Grand Prix - Qualifying

Force India aiming for double points finish

ESPNF1 Staff
September 24, 2011 « Renault has lost 1.8 seconds - Allison | Lotus extends Renault engine deal and gets RBR KERS »
Force India qualified ninth and tenth in Singapore © Getty Images

Force India is aiming for a double points finish at the Singapore Grand Prix after both cars qualified in the top ten on Saturday.

Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta both survived the elimination rounds in qualifying to make it to the top-ten shootout but decided not to run in order to save tyres. Team principal Vijay Mallya congratulated his drivers and said the target was now to come away from Singapore with a solid haul of points.

"We knew coming into this weekend that we had the potential to go well here, and so it proved today. It's a high downforce track and the car has been fast since the start of practice," Mallya said. "In every session we've shown top ten pace. So it's satisfying to convert that into a qualifying result with two cars inside the top ten - the first time we've achieved that this season. It's an especially good result considering the time we lost with Paul's car yesterday in second practice and he's done a good job to recover from that. The target tomorrow is clearly to build on today's showing and come away with both cars in the points."

Sutil said the team felt there was little to gain by setting a time in Q3, even though Mercedes' Michael Schumacher also elected not to run.

"Going into qualifying we felt we had the pace to make the top ten, but that being higher than ninth and tenth would be difficult to achieve," he said. "So once we made Q3 we felt we had got the maximum from the car and that it would be a better decision to save our tyres. We kept an eye on what Mercedes were doing, but stayed in the garage in the end. I think the advantage of saving a set of tyres is worth it because it's a tough race for tyres and we have more options with the strategy. For tomorrow, anything could happen in the race but our clear goal is to finally get both cars in the points."

Di Resta had a problem during second practice on Friday which limited his preparations for Sunday's race. However, he is confident ahead of his first night race in Singapore and is looking to take the fight to the Mercedes pair in front.

"Considering the difficult day I had yesterday, it feels pretty good to be starting in P10 for my first Singapore Grand Prix," di Resta said. "We knew yesterday that the car had good performance here and I think we got as much as we could from that session. That's why we stayed in the garage during Q3 because it gives us a free tyre choice for tomorrow on fresh rubber. In terms of tyres I've got to rely a bit on the data from Adrian's car because I didn't get a chance to do any high fuel runs yesterday. This morning I didn't feel quite so comfortable on the supersofts but felt happier on the soft tyre. For the race we'll be aiming to take the fight to the cars ahead of us, but we also need to keep an eye on the guys behind because all the midfield cars have shown strong race pace recently."