SILVERSTONE, UK, June 30th, 2013 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) - Force India has been one of the 2013 F1 season’s biggest surprise packages. The team has firmly headed the midfield pack on pace and results, and even as things stand is beating the haughty McLaren in the constructors’ standings (and on lap times). The team’s good on-track form continued at Silverstone yesterday.
Prior to Paul Di Resta’s disqualification from the British Grand Prix qualifying results – meaning he’ll start the race from the back of the grid – the Scot declared himself "over the moon" with his pace which would have been good enough for fifth on the grid, and that only Mercedes and Red Bull were faster.
"I’m over the moon with the qualifying result and I think the whole team can feel very satisfied with fifth on the grid." Di Resta added that there had been a big improvement in the car’s pace since the practice session earlier in the day: "The morning practice session was quite difficult so it feels great to come through and end up just behind two Mercedes and two Red Bulls. This track takes a lot of commitment and you need to build up your speed, but I think we saved our best till last – and that’s when it mattered."
Di Resta’s stable mate Adrian Sutil, who will now start sixth following Di Resta’s penalty, was also delighted with the car’s pace on show in qualifying, and like Di Resta felt big strides had been made since the morning’s practice session: "Seventh place is a great result today. The car was not easy to drive this morning, but we made some improvements before qualifying and found more speed with each session."
And, while offering a little caution, Sutil was also optimistic for the race: "If we can do our homework tonight then we have the potential to have a great race. There are still some unknowns with the tyres over long runs because I haven’t really done more than ten laps on a set of tyres, but I feel comfortable on both compounds. So we can be happy with the result, but we need to concentrate on tomorrow because that’s what counts."
Sutil also promised strategy flexibility: "In terms of strategy we need to keep an open mind and have several options going into the race so that we can react as the race develops."