German GP: Nico fifth, Alonso clinches pole position

Force IndiaHockenheim: Sahara Force India made the most of the mixed weather conditions during Saturday’s qualifying session with Nico Hulkenberg setting the fifth fastest time ahead of Paul Di Resta in ninth for Sunday's German Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari pitted for a set of new rain tyres midway through the Q3 shootout before clinching his second straight pole ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Ecstatic about his performance, Nico said, “I feel very excited because it’s always special to qualify well, especially at your home race. It was a session that had a bit of everything because we ran on slicks, intermediates and wets. I think the most tricky conditions came during Q3 when I even aquaplaned off the track during my out lap and went into the gravel. Fortunately I was lucky and able to continue, but there was very little grip on the track. When you start high up you naturally want to finish high up as well and I hope we can have strong race. It will probably be dry tomorrow and there are a lot of quick cars behind us so we will need to think carefully to make the strategy work.”

Meanwhile Paul said, “It was a very difficult session and the rain didn’t make life easy for anybody because there was so much aquaplaning on the back straight with two or three big puddles. Towards the end of Q3 I was getting ready for my final run but the traffic didn’t really work out for me and I struggled to get the lap when it really counted. Still, we made it into the top ten so I’m happy, but you always want to be a bit further up the grid. We think it will be dry tomorrow so it was important to get lots of running during final practice this morning to build up a feel for the car in the dry. We are definitely in a good position to score points tomorrow and I’m ready to fight and move forward in the race.”

Speaking about his team, Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director, said, “I think we made the most of the challenging conditions today and we can be pleased to have both our cars inside the top ten. Nico will probably inherit a second row starting position when Webber takes his five-place penalty and that puts us in a strong position to race at the front. Paul also showed his skill in the wet conditions and will be competitive tomorrow. We’ve demonstrated once again that we have a very consistent car no matter what the conditions and with dry weather forecast for tomorrow I think the scene is set for an exciting race.”