SILVERSTONE: Adrian Sutil will start the British Grand Prix 11th on the grid, four places ahead of teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi as none of the Force India drivers could make it to the third qualifying session (Q3) on Saturday.
Lone Indian driver Karun Chandhok qualified 23rd, sharing the last row with Hispania teammate Sakon Yamamoto.
For the fifth time this season, Red Bull locked the front row with Sebastian Vettel pipping teammate Mark Webber to snatch his second consecutive — overall fifth this year — pole.
Things looked quite promising for Sutil who qualified fourth for the second qualifying session (Q2), while Liuzzi too crawled into the second segment on a sunny day at the redesigned Silverstone circuit.
Changing to prime tyres, however, proved counter-productive as Sutil, who had lapped 1:31.109 in Q1, proved slower in Q2 and his best of 1:31.399 saw him slip just outside the top 10.
“Adrian was the only driver who went slower in Q2 than in Q1,” Force India chairman Vijay Mallya said after the qualifying rounds.
“While others chose option tyres, Adrian went for primes and went slower, otherwise Q3 was in pocket,” he said.
Mallya, however, was optimistic that despite a not-too-well qualifying rounds, points were still a realistic possibility on Sunday.
“See, we have scored points from this position and there is no reason why we cannot do it again tomorrow,” said Mallya, also the team principal.