March 23rd, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Adrian Sutil had a slightly disappointing end to qualifying, setting only the 8th fastest time in Q3, but is optimistic about his changes in the race tomorrow. Paul Di Resta will start 15th on the grid.
Sutil has featured in the top ten of every session of the weekend so far, and was an impressive third in Free Practice 3, which finished two hours before qualifying started. The pace of the Force India in dry conditions was demonstrated when Sutil set the fastest time in the first qualifying session. He went on to be fifth fastest in Q2, but struggled in the wet conditions of Q3 and was unable to qualify as well as he could have done in the dry. Sutil was unfortunate to miss the latter part of Free Practice 2 on Friday due to technical issues with his car. The track was wet at the time, and he could have benefitted from running on the intermediate tyres that were used in Q3 today.
Nonetheless, Sutil is confident of a good result in the race, and the pace of his car throughout the weekend suggests that it should be possible. Points at the very least will be his aim, and if the car proves quick enough, he will be attempting to challenge for a podium position.
Sutil's Force India team-mate, Paul Di Resta, was ufnortunate to be caught out by the wet conditions towards the end of Q2. He had aborted his first run at the beginning of the session when the track was dry, and by the time he joined the track on fresh tyres, there was enough water in parts of the circuit to make it impossible for him to produce a competitive lap time. He tried nonetheless, and spun in the process. There was no damage to his car and he returned to the pits under his own power.
This is what the team had to say after qualifying:
Adrian Sutil: “It’s a shame that the rain arrived for Q3 because our pace in the dry had been very strong. I’m still not totally confident with these tyres in the wet and the car was sliding around in the corners with too much oversteer. I will hope for a dry race because we have a competitive car and I’m happy with the balance. The target is to try and push to the front tomorrow with a good strategy and come away with points or maybe more.”
Paul Di Resta: “Quite a frustrating day because we got caught out by the weather. We’ve looked strong this weekend so felt quite confident heading into qualifying, but the rain arrived earlier than the team expected. Now we need to see what the weather does tomorrow, but I will certainly come back fighting. I’ve got lots of new tyres, which is more than enough to complete the race and the car has been working well here so far.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “We ended qualifying today feeling a little bit disappointed. Throughout practice we have been very competitive in the dry and Adrian demonstrated that once again during Q1 when he set the fastest time. In Q2 we misjudged the weather with the rain coming in earlier than anticipated, which proved very costly for Paul who didn’t have time to complete his quick lap in the dry. Adrian progressed to Q3 but struggled in the wet conditions and didn’t feel comfortable on the intermediates. Had it been dry, I’m confident he would have been higher up the grid. Going into the race we will keep a close eye on the weather and be pushing hard to get both drivers home in the points.”