Sahara Force India's Paul di Resta feels it will be tough for them to make Q3 in the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying in Sepang on Saturday following a strong show by their rivals in free practice.
Di Resta was 13th fastest in Friday's second free practice and completed 43 laps in the two sessions after having problems with the brakes. His teammate Nico Hulkenberg was 12th fastest in the afternoon and did 45 laps of the Sepang International Circuit.
One of the Force Indias managed Q3 in Australia and it will be harder for the Silverstone-based team to replicate their performance here with at least one driver of Toro Rosso and Williams being faster than them so far.
"I am not so sure we will get into Q3, I wouldn't go that far," di Resta was quoted as saying by Autosport.
"At the end of the day Lotus and Ferrari and Mercedes are very strong here so doing that is a very tough ask," he said of the top teams.
Narain Karthikeyan, the lone Indian driver in the fray, can hope to qualify for the race this time around after recording time within 107% of the fastest lap set by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.
The HRTs of Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa failed to qualify for the race at Albert Park last weekend.