The Sahara Force India Formula One Team endured a tough qualifying session in Singapore on Saturday night as Nico Hulkenberg will start the race from 11th place on the grid just missing out on a place in the top ten shootout. The German’s fastest time in Q2 was a 1m.46.305s and speaking following the session he stated:
It’s a bit disappointing not to make the top ten, but at the same time I’m confident we can have a good race from P11. For whatever reason we didn’t have the harmony or performance we expected and I wasn’t as happy with the balance as I was yesterday. I was chasing the set-up in final practice and we made some changes before qualifying, but we still couldn’t find the sweet spot. The car was quite snappy with some oversteer and it wasn’t easy to get a tidy lap together. For tomorrow, the strategy decisions will be critical and we’ve seen over the years how unpredictable this place can be. It’s always a tough race with high tyre degradation, especially the rears, and all the teams around us look quite evenly matched. We need to keep out of trouble and make the right decisions with the strategy.
Sergio ‘Checco’ Perez will start the race from 13th place with a fastest time in Q2 of 1m 46.385s and speaking following the session the Mexican who is not yet ready to confirm his plans for next season commented by saying:
I am disappointed as I think Q3 was possible. The yellow flag at the end of Q2 meant I couldn’t finish what would have been my best lap, which is a shame, but sometimes things don’t go your way. I don’t think P13 reflects our true pace because we’ve done a very good job so far this weekend and we are continuing to take big steps forward. For tomorrow, there is plenty to fight for and it’s a long race on a street circuit where anything can happen. Starting in the middle of the pack will be a challenge because overtaking is not easy here, but we will try and overcome this with a good strategy. We will need to be ready to maximise every opportunity.
Sahara Force India F1 Team Principal and Managing Director Dr Vijay Mallya commented by saying:
Our performance level yesterday suggested we would be able to fight for the top ten, but ultimately we weren’t able to deliver on that potential today. Nico’s laps were clean enough, but he wasn’t comfortable with the balance and had to settle for P11. Sergio was unlucky with the yellow flag in the final moments of Q2, which impacted on what was shaping up to be his quickest lap. In the end he was just eight hundredths of a second behind Nico. Despite starting outside the top ten, I believe there is still everything to play for. Qualifying is only half the battle and this race is tough on the drivers and the cars. We need to sensible and take our chances to make sure we come away with some good points.