Force India's Nico Hulkenberg confessed himself to not being satisfied with his lap in the final phase of qualifying, but considered tenth a decent result in a tight qualifying session ahead of the Hungarian Grand prix.
The young German was one of a number of drivers who opted to make just one run in the qualifying shooutout, instead saving tyres for what is likely to be a gruelling race.
The flipside of this was that it left no margin for error on his final lap, so a brief excursion was costly to his chances of a better grid position.
“I'm happy to be in the top ten but not satisfied with my quick lap in Q3. I tried too hard and made a mistake, got some dirt on my tyres and couldn't recover the lap,” he stated afterwards.
“It's a bit frustrating because my laptime from Q2 would have been good enough for sixth on the grid.I'm a bit disappointed, but at the same time I'm focussing on the positives because we looked competitive during the session. Now we need to do the same in the race and pick up points.”
Points tomorrow would continue a strong run of form which has seen him finish in the points in four of the six races since the start of the European season. This session also took him into a six-five lead over team mate Paul di Resta in qualifying, after the Brit seemed to enjoy the edge earlier in the F1 2012 season.
Di Resta was left ruing poor track position as the reason for failing to follow his team mate into Q3, and like Hulkenberg, he believes there is more to come in the race.
“I think there was more potential in the car today, but I couldn't get the laptime when it counted during Q2," he said. "The main issue was trying to find track position and I had to push very hard on my out lap to make some space, which probably took too much out of the tyres.
“It's a shame, we were very quick in Q1 and the car has been working well here. We can still have a good race, but it won't be easy with the high temperatures and the fact that it's never easy to overtake here.”
Despite these setbacks, Force India are looking reasonably well placed to continue their recent upturn in results, a swing which has taken them to within a point of Williams in the fight for seventh place in the Constructor's Championship.
by Philip Barclay