Force India was left to rue one of its most disappointing qualifying sessions of the season at Hockenheim after Tonio Liuzzi crashed out in Q1 and Adrian Sutil failed to make it past Q2.
Liuzzi managed just three laps before he lost control after running wide exiting the final corner, going into a spin that saw him make heavy contact with the pit wall and rip a wheel from his car. While he escaped without injury, the Italian will start the race down in 22nd place on the grid.
That left Sutil to uphold honours for the team but he could only manage 14th on the grid before a five place penalty is applied for changing his gearbox after an issue in final free practice.
That means the German starts his home race down in 19th place on the grid.
“Not really such a great day for us!” Sutil reflected. “The weekend started so well and in the rain the car was so strong, but it's not gone right today. This morning I had a problem with the driveshaft and missed the whole session. We also had to change the gearbox as a result of the problem so we knew that we would be facing a tough challenge with the five place penalty we would get. Then in qualifying I didn't have any grip and the car was sliding around and we were only quick enough for 14th place.
“All the same it's only qualifying and there's a long race tomorrow where anything can happen. With a good strategy we can always go for a good result.”
While disappointed with the performance, chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer insisted that the team still has plenty to fight for on race day.
“Obviously we're disappointed with the session today,” he said. “We were hoping for more in qualifying but had technical problems with the driveshaft failure on Adrian's car in FP3, which compromised his performance in qualifying. Tonio then had an accident at the last corner, which eliminated him in Q1. But as we always say there's no points for qualifying.
“Our long run pace this weekend on both cars has been strong and both Adrian and Tonio are real fighters who will keep pushing until the flag. They have fought hard in the past and, even after the difficulties today, are exceptionally motivated to do it again here in Hockenheim.”