Force India duo Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta completed a strong Friday practice at Korea giving the team reason to believe a competitive weekend is in store.
While other teams either stayed in their garages or struggled in the rain disrupted practice, Force India embraced the conditions making the best of available the track time with both drivers posting times good enough for the top five in FP1 (di Resta third and Sutil fourth) followed with di Resta finishing tenth in FP2 and Sutil twelfth.
More importantly however, both drivers were able to come close to a fully dry set up during FP2's intermediate running while di Resta was also able to gain valuable track time in order to learn the Yeongam Circuit, a track he visit's for the first.
“Today was my first experience of the circuit so I just had to make the best of things in the wet conditions. It's not the ideal way to learn a circuit, but the team allowed me to do as many laps as possible and I gradually built up my confidence," said di Resta.
"The track was really wet in the morning and there was a bit of aquaplaning, especially through turns seven and eight, where the car was moving around a lot. The car felt okay running on the intermediates in the afternoon and there was a dry line appearing in the last 30 minutes, but the surface still felt very greasy.
"The weather looks set to improve tomorrow so we've plenty of work to do in final practice to get on top of the dry tyres and be fully up to speed for qualifying.”
Sutil also remains similarly optimistic after his days work.
“The track was damp all day so all we could really achieve was consistent wet running on the full wet and intermediates," he said. "In the afternoon the rain was not so heavy, but this circuit takes a very long time to dry so we were just driving around waiting for the track to improve, which didn't really happen.
"The set-up we had by the end of the day was not too far away from a dry set-up so I think we have found a good starting point for tomorrow."
Force India's Circuit Engineering Director, Dominic Harlow also adopts a positive outlook but remains realistic going into tomorrow's qualifying day.
"Adjusting the programme to suit allowed Paul the maximum possible laps for a general familiarisation, and our usual balance and set-up checks with Adrian," he said.
"With evolving conditions it's difficult to draw too many conclusions and although both drivers had an attempt on dry tyres at the end of the afternoon, the track was not quite ready for them.
"We will now try to produce the best performance we can for qualifying and the race."
by Simon Evans