Adrian Sutil was frustrated after crashing out in Q2 on Saturday in Belgium, but remains hopeful he can fight back in the race.
Sutil felt he could have qualified in a 'very strong position', but a mistake at the top of Eau Rouge in the second part of qualifying put pay to that, bringing out the red flags and ensuring he would take no further part in the session. As a result he will now start the twelfth round in the F1 2011 World Championship from a lowly 15th.
“What happened today is such a shame because the car has felt so good during practice,” lamented the Force India F1 man. “Q1 was quite straightforward for me, but in Q2 I made a little mistake on the exit of Eau Rouge. I ran a bit wide, touched the kerb and the rear of the car went away from me and sent me into the barrier. It was not a very big impact, but it damaged the front and left side of my car. I think without this we could have qualified in a very strong position.
“Tomorrow we expect the conditions to be drier and we know that anything can happen in the race – especially at Spa. So I will try not to be too disappointed today and concentrate on doing a good job tomorrow.”
Team-mate Paul di Resta also had a tough afternoon and was actually eliminated in Q1. He was due to start in 18th, but gains one spot after Pastor Maldonado was handed a five-place grid penalty.
“Starting P17 is not what I had in mind for my first Belgian Grand Prix,” added the Scot. “We chose to go out at the start of Q1 and sat out the middle part so that we could make the most of the track conditions at the end of the session. Unfortunately it started raining again and I got caught out at the chicane and spun on what would have been my quickest lap.
“On the next lap the team called me in thinking the track was wet and that we were safe, but when I got back to the pits they told me that [Heikki] Kovalainen had gone quicker, which knocked me out of qualifying. It's really frustrating because there was a lot more to come and we could have been much further up the grid. Fortunately Spa is a track where you can overtake so we have plenty of work to do tomorrow to try and move through the pack.”
“Today's qualifying session was extremely disappointing,” summarised team chairman and principal Dr. Vijay Mallya. “We came here full of optimism and our performance during practice gave us every reason to believe we were in a position to get both cars in the top ten. But the classic Spa weather can always make these sessions unpredictable and today we have been caught out.
“Paul made a small mistake at the chicane on his penultimate lap in Q1 when the rain returned and we called him in on the next lap because the rain was getting heavier. It looked as though he would still squeeze through to Q2, but he got knocked out in the final moments. As for Adrian, he made a mistake through Eau Rouge in Q2 and damaged his car. It's not the session we hoped for, but we will come back tomorrow in the race and fight hard to move forward and score some points.”