Giedo van der Garde believes that a Force India cost him time during his qualifying lap at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Van der Garde set the 19th fastest time in Q1 but reckons he could have set a quicker lap time without being impeded.
“In qualifying we went for two runs on the options,” he said.
“On the first run everything went to plan and I was up in tenth until the cars ahead went from primes to options. On the second run we timed it well but on my slowdown lap I was blocked by one of the Force Indias which was going really slow around the whole lap which meant the tyres cooled down and I probably lost about three tenths on my last quick lap.”
“It’s funny though, because even though I finished ahead of our nearest rivals and my teammate I’m a bit gutted as I think I’d have been in the 1.42s, still not enough for Q2 but enough to show what the car’s capable of here. Anyway, we have a long race ahead tomorrow and last year the team scored a 13th here, so I’ll take the fact I finished best of our little battle and focus on getting as good a result as possible in the race.”
Team-mate Charles Pic will start from 20th place following a grid penalty for Jules Bianchi.
“We started qualifying on softs but I still couldn’t didn’t have a balance that was working for me,” he said.
“The car was understeering too much to really be able to push with and that affected both my runs in Q1. It’s a shame as there’s definitely some pace in the car here, compared to our direct competitors, but we have the race to show what we can do. On race pace we have an advantage, and with the good tyre degradation levels we saw on the long runs I think we have some interesting strategy options to look at for tomorrow.”