Sahara Force India drivers were troubled by wet track due to rain as Adrian Sutil will begin Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix from eighth position while Paul Di Resta will start from as back as P15 on the grid, here.
Sutil, who was fastest in Q1, had qualified ninth but was pushed up a place due to three-place grid penalty imposed on last week’s winner Kimi Raikkonen, who had qualified seventh.
Sutil made it to Q3 but his lap timings suffered due to wet conditions. His fastest lap came in 1:53.439 which was enough for just ninth place.
The German is now praying for a dry race since he is not at all comfortable with intermediate tyres in slippery conditions.
“It’s a shame that the rain arrived for Q3 because our pace in the dry had been very strong. I’m still not totally confident with these tyres in the wet and the car was sliding around in the corners with too much oversteer.
“I will hope for a dry race because we have a competitive car and I’m happy with the balance. The target is to try and push to the front tomorrow with a good strategy and come away with points or maybe more,” Sutil said.
Di Resta, whose fastest lap in Q2 came in 1:44.509, was also keeping his fingers crossed.
“Quite a frustrating day because we got caught out by the weather. We’ve looked strong this weekend so felt quite confident heading into qualifying, but the rain arrived earlier than the team expected. Now we need to see what the weather does tomorrow, but I will certainly come back fighting,” the Scot said.
Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley said some strategic mistakes cost them a good qualifying result.
“In Q2 we misjudged the weather with the rain coming in earlier than anticipated, which proved very costly for Paul who didn’t have time to complete his quick lap in the dry.
Adrian progressed to Q3 but struggled in the wet conditions and didn’t feel comfortable on the intermediates.”