Adrian Sutil labelled his qualifying effort for the Belgian Grand Prix as his and Spyker's 'strongest' of the year after he secured 20th on the grid at Spa-Francorchamps.

Although barely an improvement on paper, Sutil's 20th position came after he ran as high as 12th in the session before rapidly improving circuit conditions bumped him down to a less spectacular spot on the tenth row.

Nonetheless, that lap came after a small mistake on the final corner that would have placed Sutil 18th or possibly higher on the grid, a result that would have marked a huge improvement for the perennial back markers.

Indeed, Sutil claims the B-specification car's improved straight-line speed is key to their improved performance, a fact proved by the German's first sector time that placed him close to the top ten.

"Here with the B-spec we saw an improvement. We are quicker on the straights and the downforce is much better through the quicker corners. It was very close and in the end we dropped down the order a little bit, but the car was definitely good enough to take P18 or better.

"I just lost a little bit of time by locking a wheel in the last chicane that cost a few tenths but I can still be quite happy as it was the strongest performance yet in Qualifying. We were really close to the field and hopefully tomorrow we will have even more chance of moving up the order."

Team-mate Sakon Yamamoto meanwhile will start last, but only after a disastrous day defined by a brake failure induced crash in practice and then a series of circumstances that meant he was able to record just a single lap. Nonetheless, the Japanese driver is confident his pace in practice will help make up for his Saturday dramas.

"Generally my day was disappointing. This morning I had a brake problem and then I had to go out for my first run in Qualifying with hard tyres to prepare the brakes. Then I came in and lost some time on the scales.

"We had planned to go out twice on the softer tyre but in fact we only had time to do one run. It was a difficult session but tomorrow I will do my best in the race and I know we can do better from our results in the Friday practices."

 

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