July 27th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - It was a day of mixed fortunes for Force India as Adrian Sutil qualified 11th with what he felt was the maximum performance available, but Paul Di Resta struggled to 18th on the grid after he was unable to make his tyres work in Q1.
Adrian Sutil missed out on a place in Q3 right at the end of Q2. His 11th place grid position means he has the option of choosing which tyres to use at the start of the race, while those in front of him must start on the tyres they used to set their Q3 lap time. That could provide Sutil with an advantage off the line, as he will have fresher rubber which provides better traction. He will also start from the clean side of the track. Sutil related his qualifying experience as follows:
“The first part of qualifying was quite tricky and it was difficult to deliver the pace we expected. I had a good feeling with the car, but we were not especially quick and I was only P15 by the end of Q1. I did not really know where we were losing out, but the team made some adjustments and that improved things for Q2. My lap times were much better and for a while it looked like I was going to make the top ten, but then I got pushed down to P11 at the last moment. I’m happy with my lap and that was the limit for me today. P11 is a good place to start because it leaves us with more of a choice about the tyre strategy. The goal tomorrow is to push forward and try to score some points.”
For Paul Di Resta, everything seemed to go wrong and there were no clear reasons why. He explained: “A tough session and I am a bit confused as to why we struggled so much on the soft tyre. Throughout all the sessions we’ve looked more competitive on the softs, but in Q1 they just didn’t switch on."
But rather than dwelling on the problems, Di Resta looked forward to finding solutions so that he can have a strong race on Sunday: "We’ve given ourselves a lot of work to do tomorrow, but we will go away and come back refreshed and ready to fight. We need to move forward so we will think hard tonight about the strategy, but at least we have plenty of new tyres available. I think the main puzzle we need to solve is what happened to our performance today so that we can bounce back tomorrow."
This is Adrian Sutil's 100th Grand Prix. While he no doubt puts in maximum effort at every race, he would love to have a strong result to celebrate the milestone. It will all come down to tyre preservation and a strong start, as overtaking at the Hungaroring is notoriously difficult.