Greater Noida: Vijay Mallya, Force India's team prinicpal, was unhappy that even one of his cars couldn't finish among the top-10 in the qualifying session Saturday for the home-race at the Buddh International Circuit.
Nico Hulkenburg will start from the 12th place ans Paul Di Resta from the 16th place during Sunday's race. Mallya said Saturday's was a very close session, but ultimately his cars didn't have the performance level to continue their run of top 10 qualifying performances. "We've been struggling to find the sweet spot on set-up and it seems that the tyres have played a much more significant role here. Their operating window on this track seems very narrow and we probably haven't got the most from them," said Mallya.
The liquor baron, however, hoped that his drivers can turn it around during Sunday's race. "Even so, it's only Saturday and tomorrow is what counts. There is a long race ahead and we can still turn things around and demonstrate our true potential. It's our home Grand Prix and we want to deliver strong races with both cars to hopefully see both Sahara Force Indias inside the points come Sunday afternoon," he said.
Hulkenburg was also disappointed at missing out on a top-10 start. "We went into the session targeting and expecting to make Q3, so it's a bit disappointing to miss out. After the first part of qualifying it was clear that it was going to be a big task, but obviously you always try and believe it is possible. My lap in Q2 was actually pretty good with no mistakes and that was just the maximum for us today. I guess that some other cars have picked up pace today and that's why we are behind them. I still have confidence for the race because we have seen how close the times are today and we were not too far away from the top ten," he said.
Di Resta said the performance Force India churned out was not really where it want to be. "It has been a tricky couple of days and we've not been able to maximise the car we've got. The car balance was not ideal and I didn't have the best lap during my final run in Q2 - there were a few small mistakes and I didn't have the consistency or the confidence to really push. So there is a lot of work to do ahead of the race tomorrow and we need to look at things overnight to see where we can improve. It's an important day for us and we need to try and recover some ground if we want to come home with points," he said.