2016 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix: Qualifying Report
Sahara Force India performed well in today’s qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix with Sergio Perez ending the day in sixth place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in seventh.
P6 Sergio Perez VJM09-02
Sergio: “I think we are in a really strong position for the race and I am really looking forward to tomorrow. We got as much as we could out of the session: I made a small mistake at the end of my lap and I could have been about a tenth faster, but that’s all we lost. Some of the cars ahead of me are starting on the soft tyre compound, which should be a big advantage for them, but we are still in good shape to get a strong result. There will be a variety of strategies at play and I hope we can move forward, enjoy the battles and bring home some points. The hot weather is making it really difficult for everyone – you reach a point where you can’t go any further with the tyres. Strategy and making the right calls at the right time will be very important: you don’t want to be on the wrong tyres at the start of such a long lap because it’s going to cost you.”
P7 Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-03
Nico: “I’m reasonably satisfied with our performance today. Q1 and Q2 went to plan, but I had an issue with the power unit during Q3 and that cost me some time down the straights and proved quite costly. We’ve got to start the race on the supersoft tyres, but I think we made the right decision to use them in Q2 because it would have been difficult to make Q3 on the softs. It’s certainly going to be a challenging race if the weather stays this warm because Spa is already a demanding track on tyres in cool conditions. We need to explore our options tonight and make the right decisions tomorrow.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“It was satisfying to see our strong form in free practice carried into qualifying with both Sergio and Nico delivering some excellent laps. Nico had a sensor issue, which cost him a few tenths on his runs in Q3, but overall we can’t be disappointed with sixth and seventh on the grid. Tomorrow’s race will be dictated by tyre strategy so we need to wait and see if the high temperatures continue for the race. We’ve shown that we are competitive and we are well placed to pick up some good points tomorrow.”