Sahara Force India scored two points in today’s Belgian Grand Prix as Sergio Perez finished in ninth place. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg finished in P11. The team has now scored 100 points, making this the earliest point in a season the team has reached this milestone.
P9 Sergio Perez VJM07-02
Tyre strategy: New Softs (9 laps) – New Softs (13 laps) – New Mediums (22 laps)
Sergio: “Somehow I avoided all the crazy battles that took place today because my race was quite straightforward. I went flat out and I think we achieved the most that was possible from the race. I lost a bit of time in the second stint, having to pass the two McLarens and I took a bit too much out of the tyres, which cost me some time later in the stint. In the final ten laps I was under a lot of pressure from Kvyat: he was catching me quickly, but I managed to hold him off. In the end, we got some points out of this weekend and that’s the important thing.”
P11 Nico Hulkenberg VJM07-04
Tyre strategy: New Soft (10 laps) – New Medium (20 laps) – New Softs (14 laps)
Nico: “It’s a shame to miss out on points today but I guess I paid the price for the mistakes yesterday [in qualifying] which gave us so much ground to recover in the race. My start was not great, but I was able to gain a few positions on the first lap. After that I had good pace, but it was hard to show it because I was stuck in heavy traffic. There was a train of cars in the midfield with everybody using DRS and making it very difficult to overtake. I think that’s where we lost the most time today and it stopped me from scoring points. I was closing quickly on Kvyat at the end and I was very close, but I probably needed an extra lap to be able to get ahead.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“Considering the issues we had in qualifying yesterday, it’s good to see the team recover some ground today and score points. The two-stop races for Sergio and Nico went to plan, without any significant issues, but starting outside the top ten meant we were always going to face an uphill struggle this afternoon. Both drivers were caught in the midfield train of traffic and that made it difficult to demonstrate our true race pace, especially early on. Sergio drove a very mature race and picked up a couple of points, while Nico came close to claiming the final point. We remain in a strong position in the championship and hopefully Monza will give us a better opportunity to show our potential and get both cars in the points.