Force India finds car less competitive in cooler conditions

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuitae

Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta will start tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from 11th and 13th places respectively following today’s qualifying session at Yas Marina. Force India was therefore left disappointed as the cooler conditions seemingly did not play in the hand of the car's characteristics.

Nico Hulkenberg, VJM05/03, 11th:
Q1: 1:42.579 / Q2: 1:42.019
“I expected a bit more from today, but it seemed that our car was no so competitive in the cooler temperatures because I felt much happier during final practice in the sunny conditions. So maybe the lower temperatures caught us out. I will start from eleventh, just one position away from the points, and I have a free choice of tyres so hopefully we can use that to our advantage to come away with some points.”

Paul Di Resta, VJM05/02, 13th:
Q1: 1:42.572 / Q2: 1:42.218
“I’ve been struggling with the balance and the car has been quite difficult to drive this weekend, so it was always likely to be quite a tough qualifying session. Our long run pace hasn’t looked too bad but I’m just struggling to get the ultimate performance from the car. We’re still in a reasonable position to try and score points and I’m feeling comfortable in the new chassis. We will play the long game tomorrow because I think it’s likely to be one of those races where tyres will probably last longer than expected.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:
“After final practice we were probably feeling quite optimistic of getting at least one car into Q3, but it seems that the cooler conditions this evening didn’t play into our hands. Nico was just a tenth away from making the top ten, while Paul was not far behind, and that was about where our performance level was today. I think we have a good race car and both drivers were very consistent during their long runs yesterday so there’s every reason to hope we can be strong tomorrow. We’ve got the flexibility with the strategy on both cars and will be targeting points in the race.”