Force India's Adrian Sutil
was disappointed after it rained during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as he felt he could have been much higher up the grid in the dry.
Sutil was quickest in the opening part of qualifying, however, once the heavens opened in Q2 he was less confident and although he did make it through to the final session, he was only ninth fastest, on a 1 minute 53.439 seconds.
The German will, however, start one place higher up, as Australian GP winner Kimi Raikkonen
has been handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Rosberg.
“It's a shame that the rain arrived for Q3 because our pace in the dry had been very strong. I'm still not totally confident with these tyres in the wet and the car was sliding around in the corners with too much oversteer,” admitted Sutil, who returns to F1 this year after spending 2012 on the sidelines.
“I will hope for a dry race now because we have a competitive car and I'm happy with the balance. The target is to try and push to the front tomorrow with a good strategy and come away with points or maybe more.”
Team-mate Paul di Resta meanwhile was also similarly frustrated by the rain, although he actually went out in Q2 and will start down in P15.
“Quite a frustrating day because we got caught out by the weather,” di Resta explained. “We've looked strong this weekend so felt quite confident heading into qualifying, but the rain arrived earlier than the team expected.
“Now we need to see what the weather does tomorrow, but I will certainly come back fighting. I've got lots of new tyres, which is more than enough to complete the race and the car has been working well here so far.”
“We ended qualifying today feeling a little bit disappointed,” summed-up deputy team principal, Robert Fernley. “Throughout practice we have been very competitive in the dry and Adrian demonstrated that once again during Q1 when he set the fastest time. In Q2 we misjudged the weather with the rain coming in earlier than anticipated, which proved very costly for Paul who didn't have time to complete his quick lap in the dry.
“Adrian progressed to Q3 but struggled in the wet conditions and didn't feel comfortable on the intermediates. Had it been dry, I'm confident he would have been higher up the grid.
“Going into the race we will keep a close eye on the weather and be pushing hard to get both drivers home in the points.”