Force India F1 team's Vitantonio Liuzzi secured his best-ever F1 starting position today in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Liuzzi has struggled in qualifying this season and has only made it into the top-ten shoot-out on two occasions. However not only did he make it into Q3 at Montreal, but he put in a great lap to line up in sixth place on a 1 minute 15.648 seconds.
It is only the second time this year the Italian has out-qualified his team-mate, Adrian Sutil and after his problems last time out in Turkey a welcome boost.
"It's good to be back in business after Turkey! We understood a lot of things from there and also Monaco and pushed really hard to make things better. We changed the chassis and brought some new updates that we tested on Friday and then this morning and, so far, everything is great," Liuzzi said.
"P6 is a good position to be in, but it won't be easy tomorrow as the tyre wear will be high and I think it will make for a really crazy race. This circuit seems to suit us well, with our aero package and set-up, and we've seen a big step forward. It's a great team effort and if Adrian and I can both finish in the points tomorrow it would make a brilliant reward for the hard work we've done over the past few weeks."
Sutil meanwhile also made it into Q3 and he will start ninth in the sister VJM03, his best lap in the final session a 1m 15.881s.
"It was a good result to be in Q3 again, the fifth time this season and the fourth in a row. In general the car was good and behaved well, but we just couldn't get the best out of the tyres on the last run," Sutil said. "I had a little problem getting the temperature in the front tyres and the car felt a bit more understeery, but we can be happy with the lap in the end and P9 is a good starting position for tomorrow.
"The race will be tough and for sure it will be hard to make the tyres last over the distance, but we'll give it our best and look to convert the performance into points tomorrow. As a team it's looking pretty good right now, Q3 for both cars and hopefully another double points finish in the race."
Force India F1 team chairman and boss, Dr Vijay Mallya, was very happy to see Liuzzi and Sutil put in the outfit's strongest qualifying performance to date.
"I am delighted with this result and so happy to see Tonio back to his best again. We believed in him and wanted to give him the support he needed to realise the potential we knew was in there. He's justified this belief today with a gritty performance. Adrian likewise had a strong session to put both Force Indias into the top ten. As we all know it's tomorrow that counts and Canada has a reputation as an unpredictable race so we have now got to refocus on converting this performance into a strong points haul, which I believe, should be very achievable," Mallya concluded.