Suzuka: Sahara Force India had mixed results in the qualifying for Japanese Grand Prix as Paul Di Resta qualified in 12th place while Adrian Sutil secured P17 but was pushed back to 20th on the grid following a grid-penalty.
Sutil was handed a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled change in gear box, following a crash in the final practice (FP3) this morning.
Di Resta, who was eliminated in Q2 after his fastest lap of 1:31.992, said the car was much better now.
"Given where we started yesterday, I think we should be pretty happy with P12. Slowly but surely we've made the car more drivable and in qualifying it felt quite good," the Scot said.
"The overnight efforts of everyone at the track and back at the factory have helped dial the car into the circuit.
Compared with yesterday the car feels much more stable and predictable, and that?s allowed us to get within a tenth of making Q3. I?m feeling upbeat about the race because the long runs have looked consistent and we are well placed to fight for points with a free choice on tyre strategy."
Sutil said the team did a good job after he had damaged his car.
"It's not been an easy day. I made a mistake this morning, damaged the car and we had to change the gearbox. I have to say a big 'thank you' to the team for getting the car ready in time for qualifying because they had a lot of work to do during the lunch break. In Q1 the car was quite difficult to drive, I did not feel comfortable and was missing the grip to be competitive," he said.