Sochi: Force India face an uphill task of scoring points in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix with their drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg starting the race from 12th and 17th on the grid.
Hulkenberg came up with a 1:40.058 to set the 12th fastest time in the qualifying on Saturday while Perez was right behind on 1:40.163. The Mexican however gains a place as result of Hulkenberg's five place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Fifth placed Force India are only a point ahead of McLaren going into the last four rounds of the season.
Both drivers agreed that overtaking will be tough tomorrow.
"It's a very long and challenging lap here, and it's not so easy to put a good lap together. I think we got pretty much what we could from the car because getting the most from the tyres today was a big challenge. If you pushed more initially, you paid the price at the end of the lap, so the secret was to find a balance across the whole lap. Having the five-place grid penalty tomorrow will be quite costly on this track because I think it's going to be difficult to overtake," said Hulkenberg.
Perez added: "It is disappointing to miss out on a place in Q3 because the gaps were very small. My first lap in Q2 was very good, but in my second run I made a few mistakes which cost me two tenths and a place in the top ten. I think we will be starting pretty much where we expected based on our one-lap pace, so we will aim to move ahead and achieve a better position in the race tomorrow."