Sahara Force India missed out on Q3 yet again as Adrian Sutil, on Saturday, qualified 14th just ahead of teammate Paul di Resta for Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix, in Yeongam.
Sutil, who fought his way to 10th at Singapore GP, said he was hopeful of ending in points bracket.
"In the end I was very close to making Q3, just one a half tenths away, so that shows how close things were today. We have been working very hard on the set-up all weekend and I was quite happy with the balance, but my lap was right on the limit. P14 still gives us the possibility to score points tomorrow, just as we did in Singapore," the German racer, who clocked 1:38.431 for his fastest lap in Q2, said.
Di Resta, whose best lap was 1:38.718, also remained optimistic of getting a top-10 finish.
"The last few races have shown that our low-fuel running is where we are struggling at the moment. We were not fully optimised for qualifying because we’ve been focussing more on our race pace -- as we did in Singapore. Hopefully that will pay off for us tomorrow because our long run performance and tyre wear yesterday appeared to be very good. So I think we’ve got a good race car, possibly better than some of the cars around us, and points will be the target."
Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley was not pleased with the outcome of the qualifying session.
"We've put a lot of effort into trying to improve our one-lap speed so it’s disappointing not to have made the top ten this weekend. Adrian’s effort in Q2 was not too far away, but the midfield fight is so competitive at the moment and we had to settle for the seventh row of the grid."
Image: Adrian Sutil of Germany and Force India drives during qualifying for the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at Korea International Circuit on Saturday
Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images