Adrian Sutil admitted to being left puzzled by his exit from qualifying – after failing to make it into Q3.
The Force India had been impressive in Q1 and looked set to make it into the final segment of qualifying, only to find that he could not extract any more speed from his car.
As a result, the German believes that while his team must investigate his qualifying issues, he can still score points in tomorrow’s race.
Meanwhile Tonio Liuzzi struggled throughout qualifying and only just made it into Q2 with a late effort.
However, the Italian, who set the fifteenth fastest time, was later given a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race after being judged to have impeded the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg.
Adrian Sutil – 11th: We have had a good car the whole weekend but we struggled a bit with the tyre grip today so the result is a little bit disappointing in the end. In Q1 I could set a good time on the hard tyre and it looked really good for a Q3 slot but then in Q2 I just couldn’t get a good lap any more and couldn’t go any quicker. We need to investigate why we couldn’t go faster on the softer tyre but it’s not the end of the world and P11 is a good position to start. The top 10 is of course the goal for the weekend, so it’s important to finish the race, then anything is possible.
Tonio Liuzzi – 15th: We need to work to understand why we were not so fast this session as we believed a Q3 position was possible with both cars based on the performance in practice. In Q1 it went OK and the balance in both the high and slow speed corners was quite good. Unfortunately I only got one flying lap on my first run and then on the second couldn’t improve. I think P12 or higher was there, but it can happen. We’ll now start 20th because of the penalty – we thought that we had to keep Nico [Hulkenberg] behind and I didn’t realise he was on a hot lap. From there it’s not going to be easy but there are overtaking spots here at least, plus the incentive of racing in front of our home crowd.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal: It’s a shame we couldn’t produce a better qualifying result at our home race this weekend, but we shouldn’t be too downcast by the starting positions. As we saw in Valencia, a lot is still possible from these positions and we could still yet get a good haul of points. Both drivers couldn’t quite get the optimum lap but our performance in the earlier part of the weekend shows that the pace is there. We’ve gone well at Silverstone before and the drivers feel confident round here so we’ve got to keep focussed right till the end.