The Force India Formula One Team will start tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix from 11th and 16th positions with Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi respectively after an incredibly tight and tense qualifying session.
Adrian just missed out on a Q3 slot by one tenth of a second in the dying seconds of Q2, however Tonio had a tougher day after a throttle issue in the morning practice hampered his final preparations for qualifying. He qualified in 17th position however a penalty handed to Renault's Petrov for changing a gearbox moves Tonio to 16th on the grid.
Adrian Sutil (car 14): "It was still a good qualifying for us. Force India has done a great job all year, we have brought some updates to this circuit that work really well and we're very consistent. I believe we have a top 10 car and I think we could have got through to Q3 again today, but you need to have a perfect lap and I got a bit of traffic with a Renault in the last sector and lost a couple of tenths, which was all we needed for Q3. I'm not really disappointed but obviously it could have been better. Eleventh is good for the start though as from there we can still have a good race tomorrow."
Tonio Liuzzi (car 15): "For me it was a really difficult day as we lost 90% of the earlier free practice session with a throttle problem so we couldn't improve our set-up. Then we jumped straight into qualifying with a lot of expectations, but we couldn't get the right balance and struggled a bit with overall grip, which is why we are where we are. It was a shame as we expected a lot from Barcelona, it's an important race at the start of the European season. There's still a lot we can do from where we are though and if we get a wet race, which we could do, there's still everything to aim for."
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal: "I think the positions we are in today don't really represent our true form and pace here. The updates we have brought to the track are performing as expected and we have been consistent over the longer runs in practice. Tonio has had a hard day in the office and couldn't get the most out of the session after he struggled to find a balance following his earlier practice problems. Adrian was unlucky to get caught in traffic on his fastest lap, which would have given us enough to make Q3 for the fifth consecutive race. From where we are points are definitely still possible and we'll look to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way to get them."
Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM03/03):
FP3: 10th 1:22.377 (12 laps)
Q1: 13th 1:22.211 (9 laps)
Q2: 11th 1:21.985 (7 laps)
Tonio Liuzzi (car 15, VJM03/04):
FP3: 17th 1:23.597 (12 laps)
Q1: 17th 1:23.084 (9 laps)
Q2: 17th 1:22.854 (9 laps)