Paul di Resta is hopeful a tire gamble will pay off in tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix, after deciding to compromise his qualifying for the chance of a stronger race.
The Force India driver qualified down in 16th position as the team decided to save two sets of soft tires for tomorrow's race.
Di Resta said his position was not representative of his car's true speed, and is optimistic the decision to sacrifice qualifying will be rewarded tomorrow. Force India also decided to revert to the old spec aero package as it did not have enough time to get to terms with the new one.
"I don't think our position on the grid is that representative of our true pace this weekend," said di Resta. "We took the decision very early on that saving tires for the race would free up our strategy a bit. That means I've got two sets of new options and a set of new primes to use tomorrow.
"On paper that looks like the sensible approach so hopefully things will work out. How we use the tires is also important because there's a big difference between the two compounds in terms of pace. Also, the prime being used here is much harder than usual and so it lasts a bit longer. I'm looking forward to the race and I'm sure we can come away with a better result than our qualifying performance."
Teammate Adrian Sutil is also confident that today's tire gamble will pay off in the race after finishing down in 17th place.
"We went back to a package and balance that we were already happy with," he said. "We also know that qualifying is not as important as it used to be and that race strategy now plays a bigger factor in your race result. That's why we only ran the prime tires during Q2 so that we could keep some new option tires for the race. We feel this is the best approach for tomorrow and hopefully it will pay us back."