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Force India celebrate best-ever qualifying 11 Jul 2009

Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 celebrates his seventh place in qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 11 July 2009 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 11 July 2009 Force India F1 Team celebrate seventh placed in qualifying for Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 11 July 2009 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 VJM02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 11 July 2009

Force India may be the only team still to score in 2009, but they’ve been steadily moving up the field in terms of pace from the season’s outset. And on Saturday they showed just how far they’ve come, with driver Adrian Sutil capitalizing on the variable conditions to delight his home crowd with his P7 grid slot for Sunday’s German race.

“I'm really happy, for sure one of F1's happiest guys today!” said the German. “It's my home race and my best qualifying position so far in F1, so it was a great qualifying for us. It was very tricky with the weather but our decisions were very good and on time, particularly in Q2 with the rain. We took a risk on the dry tyres and we did it a lap earlier than all the others and got the third fastest time.

“Finally, even with the fuel on board Q3 went really well and we got into seventh. I am very happy for everyone on the team. We've worked really hard in the last months. Now we just have to score some points!”

Force India team principal Dr Vijay Mallya was equally astounded by the result, saying: “Needless to say I am absolutely delighted with the team's performance today. We came to Germany hoping to get to Q2 and we got to Q3 thanks to a superb team performance and a stunning session from Adrian. To do so on his home soil will no doubt make it extra special for him. We are now in a good position for tomorrow's race and I hope we can finally get those much longed-for points.”

Although Sutil will be well-placed to break the team’s points duck on Sunday, team mate Giancarlo Fisichella will find the going a lot tougher, starting as he will from P18. The veteran Italian, however, only had words of congratulations for his younger team mate.

“First of all I am very pleased for the team and for Adrian to have had such a great qualifying,” Fisichella said. “It was an incredible result and hopefully we'll be able to have a good race tomorrow. For me it was a bit disappointing. We went out early in the first session but unfortunately I got caught in traffic on both my fastest laps. It was a real shame as with the weather conditions I think we could have done really well. But it could be mixed weather tomorrow so you never know what's possible.”

Up until the German race the team’s best qualifying showing this year was Fisichella’s 13th in Monaco, where Sutil was 15th quickest.