Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said he was disappointed to see the team miss out on the top ten in qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.
Continuing the recent run of tough form for the Silverstone-based team, Adrian Sutil
and Paul di Resta could only qualify 14th and 15th on the grid at the Yeongam circuit, leaving both with work to do on race day.
Despite being optimistic about the long-run pace, Fernley said he was disappointed not to see his drivers starting higher up the grid and said the target now was to rescue points on race day.
“We've put a lot of effort into trying to improve our one-lap speed so it's disappointing not to have made the top ten this weekend,” he said. “Adrian's effort in Q2 was not too far away, but the midfield fight is so competitive at the moment and we had to settle for the seventh row of the grid.
“Even so, we remain positive for the race because the work we did yesterday suggests we have a car that is competitive over long runs. Hopefully we can demonstrate that pace tomorrow to try and get both cars in contention for points.”
Both drivers shared in Fernley's optimism about scoring points and while Sutil said he felt the team may need to adopt an alternative strategy to work forwards, di Resta said he was hopeful that a strong race car would be enough to help him bounce back into the points.
“The last few races have shown that our low-fuel running is where we are struggling at the moment,” the Scot said. “We were not fully optimised for qualifying because we've been focussing more on our race pace – as we did in Singapore. Hopefully that will pay off for us tomorrow because our long run performance and tyre wear yesterday appeared to be very good.
“I think we've got a good race car, possibly better than some of the cars around us, and points will be the target. I will be starting on the cleaner side of the grid too, which always makes a big difference here, so if we can get a good launch we can hopefully be in a good position to make the strategy work.”