Sepang: Sahara Force India driver Adrian Sutil was ninth fastest while rain spoiled his teammate Paul di Resta's chances of making the Q3 in the chaotic Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying here on Saturday.
Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull took pole position with a time of 1:49.674, pipping Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, who set 1:50.587 and 1:50.727 in a dramatic third session of the day. Both Force India drivers looked set to for a top-10 after an impressive third practice where Sutil and di Resta were third and sixth fastest.
The team got the strategy wrong in the case of Di Resta, who was called before setting a time in the initial part of Q2. Minutes after that, rain started at the Sepang International Circuit, making parts of the track slippery. That led the Scot going off at turn 7 in his second run before making another failed attempt to end 15th.
The rain stopped in Q3 but the track was wet by then resulting in the drivers going for the intermediates. Sutil, who had looked extremely strong in the dry weather, struggled in wet conditions and ended setting the ninth fastest time of 1:53.439, almost four second slower than Vettel.