The Force India Formula One Team will start Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix with Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil in 17th and 18th positions respectively following a disappointing qualifying session.
Adrian's qualifying was compromised following an accident in this morning's free practice session in which he damaged his front wing and nose and lost vital running time. His VJM02 was only repaired in time to allow Adrian to complete two flying laps.
Giancarlo had a solid session, completing his first run on the soft Bridgestone tyres. The Italian bettered his times by one second on his second run, this time on the supersoft option, and was able to put in two further flying laps on his third outing, also on supersofts. His fastest lap, 1min 21.807, looked set to ease him into Q2 but with the track quickening with each car he was just knocked down into 17th position in the closing seconds of the session.
Adrian Sutil (car 20): "First of all, I really hope Felipe is OK. I'm really thinking of him now. For us, unfortunately the qualifying wasn't as good as we hoped. In the morning I just made a mistake and went off line and lost some grip and went into the barriers. The guys did a great job to get the car ready but there was only enough time at the end of the session for two flying laps. All we needed was an extra couple of tenths that would have helped us go into Q2 so without the accident I think we could have been quite good. At least in 18th we have a couple of cars behind us but it's going to be a tough race."
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21): "I'm really thinking of Felipe right now as he's a good friend. I hope he's doing OK. Personally we knew it was going to be difficult today with the low grip but to just be one or two tenths from getting into Q2 is a little bit frustrating. The only problem was the lack of grip and it was difficult to do a good lap. It's going to be a tough race, but I would still like to get a good finish to take us over the mid-season break and into the next race where we have a lot more development to come."
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer: "It was very concerning to see Felipe Massa's accident in the second part of qualifying today and the team sincerely hopes that he is OK. For us today we missed the cut by a tenth and a half, in what is probably one of the closest F1 qualifying sessions ever front to back. It shows that with another step in car performance at the next event we will again be back amongst the pack in qualifying. Adrian had a small off this morning, and to get the car back out for Q1 stretched the team, and I have to congratulate them on their effort and teamwork in so doing."
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01):
FP3: 20th 1:23.231 (16 laps)
Q1: 18th 1:21.868 (5 laps)
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04):
FP3: 19th 1:22.684 (23 laps)
Q1: 17th 1:21.807 (12 laps)