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Cutting it fine - Force India squeeze through to the better battles in qualifying

Published by Mr. C

Giancarlo Fisichella in the Monza rain

Force India's progress has been a long running source of discussion during live commenting qualifying sessions, as Vijay Mallya's team have struggled to match their own lofty goals of making the Q2 cut on a Saturday afternoon.

Aside from Mallya himself, Colin Kolles and Mike Gascoyne have also expressed their aspirations of getting a car into the midfield action, and on a couple of occasions they've come pretty close.

Look back through any of the live qualifying sessions and you'll likely find much discussion relating to FIF1's chances of achieving the Q2 cut followed by inevitable disappointment as the team fails to flatter once again. There appears to be a lot of love for Force India within the F1 community, and thus all of our hopes get pinned on the first 15 minutes of Saturday afternoon track action.

Today, despite Sebastian Vettel romping away with all the headlines (and rightly so), Force India deserve a special mention too. The team finally managed to make the grade on the 14th attempt of trying, and despite the weather playing it's part in today's mixed up grid, Mallya's team likely wouldn't have been in a position to capitalise on some fortunate timing, had they not spent the considerable sums of Vijay's wealth developing their car.

Giancarlo Fisichella warrants a mention too. If you were to put money on one of the team's two drivers making the cut you might reasonably expect Adrian Sutil to fare better in wet and changeable conditions, especially after he topped the timesheets during first practice on Friday. However, it was the Italian who leveraged some home crowd advantage to finish Q1 in 13th place, while Sutil remained 20th and last.

I can only imagine what lofty goals Mallya will set the team after today, but this is one he can tick clean off his list. What we'll have to discuss during Q1 in Singapore is another matter altogether.