Nico, Paul to start at 8th and 10th at European GP
Valencia: Sahara Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta finished at the eighth and 10th position during Saturday`s qualifying session for tomorrow`s Formula One European Grand Prix here.
Hulkenberg clocked one minute 38.752 at the Valencia street circuit, while teammate Di Resta came up with a timing of one minute 38.992 in Q3. Sabastian Vettel of Red Bull was the fastest to take his third pole position of the season.
Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan of HRT-Cosworth will start his race on sunday in the 22nd place after he clocked 1:42.527.
Di Resta looked set for a top five start but locked his brake towards the end of his best lap to end up 10th.
On a track whose temperature had reached 45 degrees Celsius, di Resta clocked 1:38.858 in Q1, just behind Pastor Maldonado of Williams-Renault, who headed the timing. Hulkenberg was way behind with a timing of 1.39.009.
The Scottist driver was also the third quickest in Q2 after clocking 1:38.519, while Hulkenberg came up with a timing of 1:38.689.
Di Resta knows he could have qualified a couple of places above but said he wants to focus on the positives.
"It was a strong qualifying session but I feel I could have been higher up the grid because I didn't get the perfect lap together in Q3. We were the quickest car in Q2 and if I could have repeated that lap time in Q3 I would have been a couple of rows higher up the grid," di Resta said.
"I was trying to squeeze a little bit extra from the car but I locked a wheel and lost time in the final sector. I will try and focus on the positives because we have been strong in all the sessions, the car is well dialled into the circuit, and I think we will have good race pace for Sunday," he added.
His German partner Hulkenberg was satisfied with the results today and vowed to give good competition to the other teams tomorrow.
"I think overall it's a great result for the team to get both cars into Q3, but maybe we were hoping for a little bit more than P8 and P10, especially considering how we have performed so far this weekend," he said.
"I don't think the increase in temperatures helped us because the car felt more difficult to drive and a bit nervous at times. For the race on Sunday we are still near the front and will take the fight to the cars around us to try and come away with some points."
Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr Vijay Mallya said he was happy with the performance of his drivers but expected a tough race tomorrow.
"Another extremely close qualifying hour and I'm pleased that we were able to get two cars into Q3 for the first time this year," Mallya said.
"The car has been extremely quick throughout practice and we showed that again today with some very competitive times in Q1 and Q2. When it came to Q3 both drivers didn't quite deliver perfect laps, which costs us a few positions on the grid, but we are still well placed to fight for points finishes with both cars.
"We expect a tough race on Sunday with very hot temperatures once again, but the car is strong, we have a good understanding of the tyres and our long run pace looks promising," he added.
Di Resta and Hulkenberg had finished just outside the top 10 at 10th and 11th in the Canada Grand Prix earlier.