Spielberg, 8 July 2017: Sahara Force India once again came up with a top-10 performance in the Austrian GP with Sergio Perez taking 8th place ahead of Esteban Ocon in 9th for Sunday’s F1 race, the eighth race of the Formula One World Championship.
Starting the season with a string of strong double points finish, the team got stuck with both the teammates fighting with each other. However, they recovered and got into points again and the team is keeping its fourth position in the constructors’ championship intact with 79 points and hoping to continue the good run. The last race, they were in a good position to bring home a podium or even a win, but with the two teammates coming into contact, Perez had to retire.
Perez is in 7th position with 44 points ahead of Esteban Ocon in 8th place with 35 points.
“I’m feeling happy with our performance today. I think it was one of my best qualifying sessions when you consider how difficult things have been leading up to the session. I was P17 in second practice and P18 in final practice this morning. So to end qualifying in eighth place shows the mega steps we have taken to improve the car. It’s been a huge effort by the whole team. I was a bit unlucky with the yellow flag at the end of the session because there was an opportunity to improve my time. I’m really looking forward to this race and I think we will be even stronger in race conditions. We need to keep an eye on the weather, but wet or dry I think we can have a great race tomorrow.”
“I am not completely happy with ninth place, given all that happened in the session, but it’s still a good starting position. My fastest lap in Q3 was set on used tyres, but the yellow flags meant I couldn’t finish my attempt on fresh tyres. I feel I could have been a couple of places higher up, but it’s the way racing goes sometimes – you have to take your chances when you can. We need to review if there is something we could have done better, but I am still feeling positive about the weekend. We improved a lot since yesterday and the feeling I have with the car is much better now than it was during practice. I enjoy this track and it’s a place where you can overtake so hopefully we can bring home some good points tomorrow.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“After a challenging Friday, it’s great to see both cars qualify well this afternoon. It sets us up nicely for a strong race tomorrow knowing that we have a competitive car with solid race pace. The team has done an incredible job to get on top of the balance issues we had during yesterday’s practice sessions and the car is now much more to the drivers’ liking. The yellow flag towards the end of qualifying meant we didn’t necessarily maximise the session with either car, but we can’t be disappointed with the outcome of today’s qualifying session.”
eom/with inputs from Sahara Force India