• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Sutil says eighth was 'maximum'

ESPNF1 Staff
October 29, 2011 « Driver decision before Abu Dhabi - Mallya | Senna suspects car problem »
Both Force India's start ahead of Renault in the battle for fifth in the constructors' championship © Getty Images

Adrian Sutil said that eighth place on the grid for the Indian Grand Prix was the maximum he could achieve in qualifying.

With an updated car for Force India's home grand prix, Sutil managed to produce a strong lap to make it through in to Q3, before only going out to set sector times in the final part of qualifying in order to stay ahead of both Toro Rossos. Sutil said it was a going to be a "special race" for the team and that he thought it would be more competitive than the last race in Korea.

"We've been saying all week that this is a special race for us so I'm very happy with today's qualifying performance," Sutil said. "We are so determined to do well here and today's result is the first step towards that. P8 is one of my best qualifying results of the season and I think it was the maximum we could achieve from the session. The balance of the car was excellent and I really enjoy this circuit, which seems to suit my driving style. But tomorrow is the important day and now we have to think hard about the strategy we will run. I feel very comfortable with the car and I think we will be more competitive than we were in Korea."

Team-mate Paul di Resta, however, failed to make it in to Q3 after missing out by less than 0.2s. He will start 12th after a penalty for Vitaly Petrov, but admitted his car set-up had not been quite to his liking.

"Starting P12 is a bit disappointing really, because we looked quite strong this morning," di Resta said. "But I struggled with a bit of understeer in the high-speed corners and we couldn't fix it during the session. I think the conditions cooled a little bit, which maybe didn't help us because I couldn't get the balance quite where I wanted it. I feel that points are still achievable tomorrow and we seem quite strong on the longer runs. There's a hard task ahead, but I will stay focussed and try to do the best job possible in the team's home race."