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Singapore GP: Qualifying notes - Force India

NEWS STORY
26/09/2009

The Force India Formula One Team endured a disappointing qualifying under the lights of Singapore's Marina Bay circuit as neither Adrian Sutil nor Tonio Liuzzi made the cut for Q2. Hopes had been high for the team to enter into the second segment following the outstanding results of Spa and Monza, however a combination of traffic and the tricky high downforce configuration saw this ambition confounded.

Adrian Sutil: As we can see, we are still very quick on the straights and on the high speed circuits such as Spa and Monza, but here it is all about downforce. It's a very similar configuration to Monte Carlo, but about twice as long with twice as many corners and that's why we lost so much over one lap. We have had a problem with the grip level the whole weekend. I did expect us to be a little bit more competitive, but the field is very tight and if you lose out a bit in the traffic suddenly you are at the back. I lost some time on my fastest lap when Giancarlo [Fisichella] was in front of me in the middle sector and I finished 16th. It's going to be difficult but let's see what we can do. It's a long race and anything is possible and we will still be giving it our best.

Tonio Liuzzi: We knew we would struggle more on this type of circuit compared to the low downforce tracks such as Spa and Monza but we didn't expect it would be this much. We were suffering with a lack of traction and weren't able to find the right balance - Adrian and I seem to have the same problems. My quickest lap was quite clean, perhaps there were a couple of tenths more in it, but to get through to Q2 this time would have been quite difficult. With more fuel on board we are quite competitive but from this point on the grid it will be tough. However at a circuit like this anything can happen and if we have a good pace in the race and a good balance we could still get some points. Street circuits are always a bit crazy so we won't give up just yet.

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal: After the outstanding performance in Spa and Monza we were expecting more of a challenge this weekend for sure. We feel we have a car that is now amongst the quickest in the field but unfortunately in high downforce trim we are not seeing a reflection of this performance as teams that were behind us in Spa and Monza are ahead of us here. There are however only two extraordinarily high downforce tracks on the calendar - here and Monaco - so we cannot trade this improvement in performance for just one race. We are still looking forward to the Grand Prix, which is sure to be eventful, long and challenging and will try our best to continue our current run of points' scoring finishes. We are however anticipating a better performance at the more traditional tracks of Suzuka and Interlagos, which will be sure to suit us a lot better.

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