Singapore: Force India`s expectations of success at Singapore Grand Prix are rock bottom, with team principal Vijay Mallya admitting his cars cannot really compete on the twisty Southeast Asian street circuit.
The team`s drivers, Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi, qualified 16th and 20th under the Singaporean floodlights and chances of replicating the success of their fourth placed finish at Monza earlier this month, or their second in Belgium the race before, are slim to say the least.
"After the outstanding performance in Spa and Monza we were expecting more of a challenge this weekend for sure," Mallya told reporters in Singapore.
"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."
Street Circuits Crazy
Sutil explained the difficulties he experienced on the track.
"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," he told reporters.
"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.”
"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."
Liuzzi echoed his team mates thoughts.
"Adrian and I seem to have the same problems," he said.
"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."
McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton qualified in pole position for Sunday`s night race.
Championship leader Jenson Button suffered a dismal qualifying session and will start 12th spot on the grid. Team mate Rubens Barrichello will start 10th, which includes a five-spot grid penalty for early changing of a gearbox.