Posted on: March 23, 2013

Unexpected rain proved to be fatal for qualifying the Malaysian Grand Prix

By Antara Das

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Unexpected rain proved to be fatal for qualifying the Malaysian Grand Prix

Ninth fastest Sahara Force India driver Adrian Sutil and his teammate Paul di Resta blamed the rain for their poor performance. They disclosed that the rain has spoiled their Q3 chances to qualify the chaotic Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday in Sepang.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull took pole position with a time of 1:49.674. He drove past Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Both took time of 1:50.587 and 1:50.727 respectively in a dramatic third session of the day. During the third practice, Sutil and di Resta were third and sixth fastest respectively. Both Force India drivers expected top 10. But the circumstances were adverse. Things didn’t happen as expected. Di Resta was called before setting a time in the initial part of Q2. This action got a wrong strategy for the team. Few minutes later, the rain started which made the track slippery in the Sepang International Circuit. As a result, the Scot went off at turn 7 in his second run before making another futile attempt to end 15th. The rain halted after sometime during Q3. The drivers went for the intermediates as the track was already wet. Sutil struggled in the wet condition and ended setting in the ninth position with a time of 1:53.439, approximately four second slower than Vettel. In contrast Sutil was perfectly comfortable in dry condition. The German declared that it's a shame that the rain arrived for Q3 because their pace in the dry had been already very strong. He is still not confident with these tyres in the wet. The car was sliding around in the corners with too much oversteer. He expects for a dry race because he has a competitive car and he is happy with the balance. His target is to try and push to the front tomorrow with a good strategy and come up with the best points.

Di Resta too was upset with the rain and complained that it is quite a disappointing day because they got caught out by the weather. The rain arrived earlier than the team expected. This shook their good confidence of qualifying. The Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley analysed that some strategic mistakes cost them a good qualifying result.

He added that they have misjudged the weather with the rain coming in earlier than expected during Q2. This proved very costly for Paul who didn’t have time to complete his quick lap in the dry. However, Adrian progressed to Q3 but struggled in the wet conditions and didn’t feel comfortable on the intermediates.

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