Force India enjoy best qualifying performance of their season

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying, Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday 21 July 2012.

Nico Hulkenberg will start from fourth for his home grand prix in Germany

Jul.21 (F1 Press Release) Force India enjoyed their best qualifying performance of the season with local hero Nico Hülkenberg qualifying fifth and Paul di Resta ninth for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 20 July 2012.It’s only the second time this year both Force India cars have made the Q3 shoot-out and Mark Webber’s gearbox-change penalty will improve it, elevating Hülkenberg to fourth on the starting grid.

The young German driver has previously proved to be adept in wet weather qualifying, taking his sole pole position in similar conditions at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix. His session today wasn’t entirely smooth, including an off-track moment in Q3 but he got back onto the asphalt and was able to profit in the final minutes as the track improved.

“I feel very excited because it’s always special to qualify well, especially at your home race,” said Hülkenberg. “It was a session that had a bit of everything because we ran on slicks, intermediates and wets. I think the most tricky conditions came during Q3 when I aquaplaned off the track during my out lap and went into the gravel. Fortunately I was lucky and able to continue, but there was very little grip on the track. When you start high up you naturally want to finish high up as well and I hope we can have strong race. It will probably be dry tomorrow and there are a lot of quick cars behind us so we will need to think carefully to make the strategy work.”

Paul di Resta Force India VJM05 German Grand Prix Hockenheim qualifyingDi Resta made his fourth consecutive visit to Q3. He blamed traffic congestion at the end of the session for denying him a chance to qualify higher, but professed himself satisfied with ninth. “It was a very difficult session and the rain didn’t make life easy for anybody because there was so much aquaplaning on the back straight with two or three big puddles,” said the Scot. “Towards the end of Q3 I was getting ready for my final run but the traffic didn’t really work out for me and I struggled to get the lap when it really counted. Still, we made it into the top ten so I’m happy, but you always want to be a bit further up the grid. We are definitely in a good position to score points tomorrow and I’m ready to fight and move forward in the race.”

“We’ve demonstrated once again that we have a very consistent car no matter what the conditions and with dry weather forecast for tomorrow I think the scene is set for an exciting race,” added team principal Vijay Mallya.

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