2017 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Sahara Force India scored ten points in today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Sergio Perez ending the season in seventh place ahead of Esteban Ocon in eighth – both in today’s race and their drivers’ championship positions.
P7 – SERGIO PEREZ – VJM10-02
Strategy: Used UltraSoft (16 laps) – New SuperSoft (39 laps)
Sergio: “It wasn’t the most exciting race for me, but I had a very busy first lap battling with Nico [Hulkenberg]. I think his penalty was very strange because I was ahead of him and he just cut the corner, gaining a big advantage and a position. He had more pace and in clean air he could just go and make up enough time to make the penalty useless. He should have just given up the position, as is required and as he did later in the race with Grosjean, and he would have had to overtake me on track.
“I am happy with the result today and it was important to finish this year strongly. It’s my first year at Force India without a podium, but I think we made a big step forward. I scored one point less than last year with just 20 races on the calendar instead of 21. The overall result is great: seventh in the drivers’ championship and fourth in the teams’ standings. I don’t think we could do anything better than that this year and I hope we can continue this way into 2018.”
P8 – ESTEBAN OCON – VJM10-04
Strategy: Used UltraSoft (31 laps) – New SuperSoft (24 laps)
Esteban: “It was a really quiet race with not a huge amount of things happening. The start was the busy moment when I almost got ahead of Hulkenberg, but he was on the racing line and he was able to brake later. From there I was running a different strategy compared to Checo and although I was getting closer to him at the end, I just didn’t have enough laps to catch him. It’s nice to end the year with another strong result and I’m really proud of what we have achieved as a team this year. The winter months ahead will involve a lot of training so that I can come back even stronger in 2018.”
ROBERT FERNLEY, DEPUTY TEAM PRINCIPAL
“We’ve ended the year as we started it with both cars firmly inside the points. Seventh and eighth places bring our points tally to 187 to sign-off our most successful season ever. As we’ve said before, the credit needs to go to each and every one of the 400 team members who have contributed to this achievement, as well as the support of our commercial partners. Today’s race was fairly straightforward and there wasn’t much to choose between the different strategies run by each car. It’s nice to end the season on a positive note ahead of a busy winter finalising the new car for 2018.”