Contrasting feelings at Force India
17 March 2012 – There was a mixture of positive and negative surprise in the Force India garage following qualifying in Melbourne on Saturday. As race team debutant Nico Hülkenberg managed a solid top ten grid position of ninth, Paul di Resta was marooned down in 15th.
“I’m very happy with today’s result because I was not sure we would be able to make Q3,” said the German, who replaces compatriot Adrian Sutil. “We did a good job after FP3 to improve the setup and I’m feeling much more comfortable with the car now.
“Obviously, going into the race there is some uncertainty because we haven’t really done many runs on high fuel here because of the wet sessions yesterday, but all the teams are in the same situation. It’s the same case with the tyres because we will still be learning about them tomorrow and discovering how long they last. It should be an exciting race and I’m looking forward to it.”
Di Resta appeared to be less optimistic.
“It was quite a difficult session and I never quite got it together,” the Scot admitted. “I think my out-lap was compromised by traffic and, as a result, I didn’t get the tyres in their working range, which hurt my quick lap. So there’s a lot of work to be done tomorrow and I need to work hard tonight to see if there’s anything that can be done overnight to improve things for tomorrow. Over the winter our long run pace has looked quite strong, so hopefully I can move forward in the race and challenge for some points.”