Adrian Sutil will start Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix 11th on the grid, seven places ahead of teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi, as neither of the Force India drivers could make it to the third qualifying session (Q3) here.
Hispania driver Karun Chandhok will be last on the 24-driver grid, behind Virgin’s Lucas di Grassi.
Mark Webber maintained Red Bull’s 100 per cent pole position record this season but McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton squeezed himself into the second place ahead of Webber’s teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Force India’s day began with a hydraulic problem confining Sutil’s participation in the third practice session to just one lap but the German did come out for the qualifying session.
While Liuzzi, struggling with understeer, missed the second qualification (Q2) by a whisker, Sutil entered it as the 10th driver.
In Q2, Sutil hung around among top 10 till the dying seconds when Michael Schumacher nudged him out of it.
Sutil did not run the F-Duct system, having missed much of morning’s practice session and not feeling comfortable with it even though Liuzzi stuck to it.
“I didn’t really know what to expect out there in qualifying as I hadn’t done so many laps before,” Sutil later said.
“We were very close to Q3 again, just under a tenth, so I think it’s all open for tomorrow. Eleventh on the grid, and the good side as well, I think we can be very confident. It will be a tough race with the heat but I think we have a good chance to score some points again,” said the German.
Team principal Vijay Mallya conceded it was not an ideal weekend and had his fingers crossed for tomorrow’s race.
“It’s been a difficult weekend with various issues to contend with, but it’s tomorrow that counts,” Mallya said.
“Adrian is still in a very good position, on the clean side of the track and able to run new tyres, and he has scored points from further down the field before. Tonio also has the use of our new SRW device (F-duct) and should be able to make the most of it on the longer straight here. So, overall, we can remain positive and look to make the most of whatever comes our way,” added Mallya, also the team principal.
Karun Chandhok, on his part, felt wrong tyre choice marred his outing.
“It’s been a tough choice on which tyres to use and unfortunately for me, the prime tyre that we used wasn’t the right one as (teammate) Bruno (Senna) found a chunk of time on the option tyre.
“The guys are looking into the straight line issue for tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes,” he said.