There’s evidently a need for a “let’s hug it out” moment in the Force India garages after qualifying, with Adrian Sutil blasting his own team-mate, Vitantonio Liuzzi, for their near-collision during the first phase of knock-out qualifying, which Sutil attributed as the reason he was eliminated in the bottom-seven for the first time this season.
The result effectively means the German lines up on the back row of the grid, for he also carries a five-place grid penalty stemming from his collision with Kamui Kobayashi during the Korean Grand Prix.
However, Sutil has laid all the blame at Liuzzi’s feet, and criticised him for not showing greater care when rejoining the circuit after a half-spin at the Merguhlo corner. He rejoined the circuit right in Sutil’s path when the German was on a hot lap.
“It was too close for team-mates,” he said, when asked about the incident after qualifying. “I don’t know what’s wrong with him – he’s done it a few times this year.”
Ouch! No love lost there, then!
The aftermath of the incident prompted BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard to write via Twitter: “Haven’t seen Sutil so subdued all season. Wonder how disappointed he is that a possible move to another team hasn’t come off…”
Sutil had been a long-time contender for a possible switch from Force India to either Renault, Mercedes GP or Williams, but each of the three options seems to have evaporated as the teams look to retain their established line-ups next season.
The qualifying result – which sees Liuzzi only marginally higher on the grid in sixteenth (up one place by dint of a similar five-place grid penalty for 15th-placed Sébastien Buemi) – puts the team under huge pressure in its ongoing championship battle with Williams over sixth place in the Constructors’ Standings, a fight it leads by just three points.
By contrast, the Williams team has enjoyed its best qualifying session of the season, with Nico Hülkenberg starting from a first-time pole position and team-mate Rubens Barrichello lining up sixth.
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[Original image via AUTOSPORT]