2017 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Sahara Force India showed well under the lights of Yas Marina with Sergio Perez qualifying in eighth place ahead of Esteban Ocon in ninth for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
P8 – SERGIO PEREZ – VJM10-02
Sergio: “I am quite happy with our result tonight, even though I cannot be totally satisfied after missing seventh place by just a tenth. We were able to clear Q1 with just one lap, but Q2 was slightly more complicated. Nico [Hulkenberg] compromised my warm-up lap: it was something unnecessary and it completely ruined both our laps. Thankfully it didn’t affect our final result and we still made it to Q3. In the final part of qualifying, my first lap wasn’t very good, so I had to deliver on the second attempt. All in all, it’s a good result. Tomorrow should be an interesting race because the middle of the grid is always very close. It will be important to pass Hulkenberg at the start or during the first lap, because overtaking can be a challenge. If we don’t manage to do it, I am confident we can use the strategy to make our way through. The weather will play a big part too – as it gets darker, the air and track get much cooler and there is a strong wind in certain corners. It will be a challenge but we are in a good position and I am keen to finish the season on a high note.”
P9 – ESTEBAN OCON – VJM10-04
Esteban: “I’m not totally satisfied with our session today because I think we could have been higher up the grid. I think seventh place was realistic, but the traffic didn’t go our way today and there were a few other things that I didn’t’ maximise. It’s always a difficult qualifying session here with the temperatures dropping and you have to work hard to get the tyres in the right operating window. I’m just annoyed I didn’t show the true pace of the car, but it’s only Saturday and the race is what really counts. I want to make a good start, jump ahead of a few cars and end the season with a strong result.”
ROBERT FERNLEY, DEPUTY TEAM PRINCIPAL
“It’s good to end the final qualifying session of the year with both cars in Q3. Esteban felt Valtteri impacted his final opportunity in Q3, but ninth place is not a bad effort. Sergio had a strong lap, but just fell a tenth of a second short of seventh place, which shows how close the racing is at the front of the midfield. It means we line up in eighth and ninth places with a great opportunity to end the season well.”