2016 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix: Qualifying Report
Sahara Force India showed well today in Monza with Sergio Perez qualifying in eighth place just ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg in ninth.
P8 Sergio Perez VJM09-02
Sergio: “I think we can be satisfied about today’s result. We have been struggling all weekend, but we worked really hard last night to improve the car balance and made a step forward for qualifying. Some of our rivals seem to have very strong pace, but I think we maximised our qualifying effort with both cars in the top ten. In Q1, it was crucial to put together the perfect lap on my first run; that gave me a bit more freedom in Q2, with an extra set of new tyres available. All in all, it was an exciting session and I had a very intense battle with Nico. The strategy options for the race are quite limited and will depend on what happens during our first stint on the supersoft tyres, and how things go on lap one. Our long run pace looked better than our one lap speed, so hopefully we can match the cars ahead of us and get a good result.”
P9 Nico Hülkenberg VJM09-03
Nico: “I’m as happy as I can be with ninth on the grid. For some reason we’ve struggled to find the harmony and balance with the car this weekend, so it’s a good result to see both cars through to Q3. We’ve tried a lot of things with the set-up and made some small improvements, but I’m still not entirely happy with the balance. Tomorrow is another day – tyres will play a big role and it’s going to be interesting to see how things play out. When the middle of the grid is so close we need to make sure we make the correct strategy calls because the final results will be decided by some very small gaps.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“Getting both cars through to Q3 was the goal today and we are pleased to achieve that objective. Eighth and ninth is a good effort and probably a fair reflection of our pace this weekend. We should have a good race car tomorrow, but getting a strong start will be the priority because we know how tough overtaking is around this circuit. The calls from the pit wall will also play a pivotal role in our final result. At the very least we need to hold position and put pressure on the cars ahead to come away with some points.”