Force India F1 chairman and boss Dr Vijay Mallya has hailed his team after seeing Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi both secure strong starting positions for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Silverstone-based outfit interpreted the ever-changing weather conditions perfectly - unlike McLaren and Ferrari - with both drivers going out for early runs in Q1 on the intermediate tyres, so when the rain worsened both were easily through to Q2, with Sutil P8 and Liuzzi P10.

As the rain increased a mid-break switch to extreme wets beckoned but when the track dried out both returned for intermediates: again, a canny decision that allowed Sutil to set the third quickest time and Liuzzi the eighth.

Heavier rain fell in Q3, causing a red flag with seven minutes remaining. On the restart though, Sutil and Liuzzi were the first cars out on extreme wets and were for a time the quickest cars on track. As the conditions bettered they were edged down the order, although Sutil still took fourth, with Liuzzi tenth.

Speaking after the session, Mallya was delighted with the result - the team's best combined starting position since the Italian Grand Prix last year - and now he wants to see them make the most of it on Sunday.

"Today was a really brilliant team performance, not just from the drivers but from the pit wall and the garage. The interpretation of the data and weather forecast, the implementation in the garage and the calls from the drivers all came together beautifully to give our best qualifying performance this season," he reflected.

"It sets us up well for the race, but as we all know tomorrow's result is what really counts. We've got to keep this spirit up, keep our heads down and go for the maximum we can. I don't want to tempt fate with predictions, but I would hope we could convert this into a serious points haul."

Sutil meanwhile was also very pleased and he congratulated the team on getting the strategy spot on: "It was a great qualifying again for us. As I expected it rained at 4pm, I said that yesterday I think!" he added.

"It was challenging and the conditions changed a lot over the sessions. Sometimes it was a lot of rain, sometimes half wet, half dry so it was very important to choose the right tyres. I think we did a great job in those conditions and every session we did the optimum. I am so happy to be in this position now.

"It's a great achievement and my team really deserved it. They did a fantastic job: being there on the right time on the right tyre was very important. My time in the end was good for P4: a great job all round."