Force India drivers defend decision to sit out Q3 in Singapore

The Force India drivers say they had no qualms about not running in Q3 in Singapore in order to save tyres for the race

Force India drivers defend decision to sit out Q3 in Singapore

Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta made it to the pole shoot-out but did not leave the pits, so will start ninth and 10th.

Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery felt there was no need for such tactics in Singapore.

"It is disappointing," he told AUTOSPORT. "We have tried to come up with some ideas to resolve that, and it is a great shame for the fans that that is happening, there is no real reason for it to be honest, and I don't see how it will affect race strategy as there are plenty of tyres available, so it is disappointing for the fans that they don't get to see cars running."

But Sutil defended the decision, saying eschewing a Q3 run gave the team a much better chance of a strong race.

"I'm not going to say what I'll do tomorrow. That's my secret, but I hope I have the right strategy, of course," he said.

"It's going to be hard for the tyres but also with more rubber on the circuit it should be better.

"I can still choose my tyre set for tomorrow, so that's another good point for not going out. I still have the choice and I can sit down with my engineers and talk about the best strategy for us.

"Saving tyres is very important and there was no need for us to run. It was our decision and I'm happy with our decision. I think it was clear."

The Force Indias will start behind the Mercedes, and Sutil was open-minded about their chances of attacking Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher in the race.

"Maybe it's possible. It's going to be difficult," he said. "Our qualifying pace is quite a bit slower [compared] to them but in the race sometimes we are a bit faster and less aggressive on the tyres. So let's see. Anything can happen tomorrow."

Di Resta agreed that Mercedes could be tough to overcome.

"I'm hoping they're going to have a lot of degradation, like sometimes they can have," he said.

"Their performance was quite strong in terms of lap time, they seem about a second quicker. How much that will close up on high fuel, time will tell, but we'll give it our best shot.

"Equally, Sauber behind us look strong, because that was fairly close."

The Scot missed much of practice with hydraulic and brake issues on Friday, and admitted there would be a lot of unknown quantities for him going into the race.

"You can analyse it as much as you want, but in my circumstance we're going into a dark hole really because we haven't done any high-fuel runs," he said. "We haven't got any tyre wear data on my car, we can only reference the other chassis."

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