Sahara Force India survived the rain storms in Sepang today as Nico Hulkenberg qualified in P13 ahead of Sergio Perez in P14.
“It was a short qualifying session in the end with the rain arriving quite early in Q2. Maybe it would have been better for us if the rain had arrived five minutes earlier and Q2 was completely wet because everybody was able to complete a lap on slicks when the track was quite dry. It was only on the in-lap that the skies really opened. As it happens I think it would have been very difficult to reach Q3 anyway. The race tomorrow will be tough, especially managing the tyres in the high temperatures. There is always the chance of more rain and that’s when you have to adapt quickly because it’s all about being on the right tyre at the right moment. Whatever happens we will try our best to come away with some points.”
“It was really tough out there in these conditions. I was the last car out on track in Q2 and that compromised my lap on the mediums – our strategy was the right one but we were just a bit late in going out and by the time I got to sectors two and three the track was starting to get wet. All in all, I think where we are is a fair reflection of our current pace. We are hoping to be in a better position than others tomorrow because our focus has been directed towards the race rather than qualifying. We’ve seen in Melbourne that anything can happen so I will approach the race aiming for points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“It is always very challenging when you effectively have just one lap to get your qualifying time: this was the case today, and we feel both Sergio and Nico managed to extract everything that was possible in those conditions. Avoiding the pitfalls of Q1 was a positive result and P13 and P14 is about where we stand in terms of one-lap pace at the moment. We remain positive about our chance to score points tomorrow: the midfield remains very close and, if we can deliver the race pace we showed on Friday, it should make for an interesting Sunday afternoon. Of course, the weather conditions could play a huge part in the race; it will be crucial to make the right calls from the pit wall and make the most of any opportunity.”