The Force India Formula One Team will start tomorrow's European Grand Prix at Valencia from 12th and 16th positions with Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella
respectively following a strong day of running at the Valencia Urban Track.
Adrian got the day off to a perfect start
when he finished FP3 on top of the timesheets. He then followed up with an encouraging performance in qualifying, easing through to Q2 for the fourth time this year. The 26-year-old German set the 11th quickest time in the opening segment and pushed hard into Q2 to record the 12th best lap, just one tenth from the top 10.
Giancarlo similarly had a strong start to the day, setting the sixth quickest time in the earlier practice, but just missed out on a Q2 slot on his last, and potentially fastest, lap. He will start the 57-lap race from 16th.
We've been quick here all the weekend and everything is working very well. I'm really happy about the upgrades we've put on the car, the team is doing a great job. We've made a big step forward in the last couple of months and I'm really enjoying every session now. This morning was the best way to prepare for qualifying, but we knew it was not going to be possible to replicate this position. Conditions for qualifying were actually pretty tough with quite low grip and high temperatures but the lap times are very close - it seems to be a characteristic of this circuit. We were just a few hundredths from Q3 so we just missed out in the end. We are in a good position now though so it's a reasonable goal for us to say we want to score our first points here. Giancarlo Fisichella
I am very disappointed with this result as I felt I could have easily got through to Q2 today. Unfortunately on the last run I got caught in traffic on my first lap and then lost about six or seven tenths in the last sector on my second lap, otherwise I really feel we could have got through after the weekend we've been having so far. It's going to be a tough race.
Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer:
Realistically Adrian was about where we expected to be in qualifying today and we are pleased that it's demonstrated again our continued improvement of pace. It's frustrating for Adrian to have just missed out on Q3 by the smallest of margins especially after getting P1 in FP3 on a reasonable fuel load, and equally for Giancarlo at the Q1 cut-off. There's no doubt though that the car has enough performance here to race with the top ten and there's a chance of points tomorrow.