Q3 eludes Force India, Karun to start last
Force India driver Adrian Sutil missed third qualifying session (Q3) by a whisker and will start tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix 11th, while Hispania driver Karun Chandhok will start last after copping a gearbox penalty.
Other Force India driver Vitantonio Liuzzi will start 16th after he too, like Sutil, failed to progress beyond the second qualifying session, making it the first time this season that no Force India car would start in the top 10.
In the first qualifying round, Karun finished ahead of teammate Bruno Senna but the unscheduled gearbox change put him at the back of the starting grid.
It was a frustrating outing for Force India with none of the driver making it to the Q3. Sutil looked pretty much in it but he eventually missed it by one tenth of a second in the dying seconds.
Teammate Liuzzi had a tougher day after a throttle issue in the morning practice hampered his final preparations for qualifying. He qualified in 17th position however a penalty handed to Renault's Vitaly Petrov for changing a gearbox moved Liuzzi to 16th on the grid.
Force India chairman Vijay Mallya said today's qualifying session was not a reflection of the team's potentials.
"I think the positions we are in today don't really represent our true form and pace here. The updates we have brought to the track are performing as expected and we have been consistent over the longer runs in practice," Mallya said.
"Tonio has had a hard day in the office and couldn't get the most out of the session after he struggled to find a balance following his earlier practice problems. Adrian was unlucky to get caught in traffic on his fastest lap, which would have given us enough to make Q3 for the fifth consecutive race," he said.
Mallya, however, still seemed optimistic of points tomorrow.
"From where we are points are definitely still possible and we'll look to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way to get them," said Mallya, also the team principal.
Meanwhile, Red Bull once again stressed their supremacy with Mark Webber racing to the pole ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.