Force India's Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella will start tomorrow's inaugural Singapore Grand Prix from 19th and 20th positions respectively following an exceptionally tough day under the lights of the Marina Bay street circuit.
Giancarlo's qualifying was compromised following an accident in the final 15 minutes of the earlier practice session. The Italian fell foul of the high kerbs through turn 10 and went into the barriers, damaging the front right corner of his VJM01. With just two hours to repair the car between practice and qualifying, Giancarlo was only able to run in the final five minutes of Q1, however he could not set a time when a puncture caused him to run wide into turn three and lose his front wing.
Adrian also experienced a difficult day as he struggled with the balance of his car throughout both practice and qualifying sessions. He will start in 19th position.
Adrian Sutil: "I think this is probably one of our worst qualifying performances so far this year. We don't really know where the problem is, but it just seemed the grip was not there and the balance wasn't right. It might be an issue with the tyres as we just can't bring them to a real peak. We just have to try our best and find the problems. The race tomorrow will be tough but I am happy with the pace of our long runs so I think we are stronger under race conditions."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Unfortunately today wasn't my day! I had an accident over the kerbs in turn 10 in practice - the kerbs in that corner are very dangerous as I launched over them and went into the barriers. The mechanics did a fantastic, fantastic job to get the car repaired and out for qualifying in the last five minutes. Unfortunately then I had a puncture and then another crash as the steering wasn't right because of the puncture. I'm really disappointed, not for myself as I think it would have been a tough qualifying anyway, but for the team as they worked so hard. We will look to have a better day tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: "A very difficult day for us. Adrian struggled all day with the balance of his car. Giancarlo looked reasonably competitive in the morning, but unfortunately he just took off over the kerbs at the chicane and went into the barriers, which caused a lot of damage to the car. The team did an absolutely excellent job to get the cars back out and even though we are at the back of the grid, we should hold our head up high for the effort that has gone in today. It will be a long, hot race tomorrow and if we can get two cars to the finish we can still get something out of the weekend."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director: "Both drivers have had their problems, but the team did a tremendous job to get Giancarlo's car out in time for qualifying, something I think we can all be very proud of. As a small team, such knock-backs can be tough, but everyone dealt with it admirably. Hopefully we've had all our bad luck this weekend and can look to picking up some positions tomorrow."