Sutil qualified fourteenth setting a time of one minute 38.431, falling short of the top ten cut-off time by a narrow tenth of a second while Di Resta was a further three-tenths adrift in fifteenth.

“In the end I was very close to making Q3 … so that shows how close things were today,” Sutil said, adding that he got everything out of the car with a lap that was absolutely on the limit.

“Fourteenth still gives us the possibility to score points tomorrow, just as we did in Singapore,” he added.